Larentowicz training with Bolton

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photo by Nick Turchiaro/ISIphotos.com

Jeff Larentowicz has become the latest player to heed Jurgen Klinsmann's advice.

Larentowicz has joined English Premier League club Bolton Wanderers for a training stint during the MLS offseason, joining the long list of domestic-based U.S. men's national team players to train abroad.

The 28-year-old Colorado Rapids midfielder played twice under Klinsmann in September and was included on the U.S. roster for the October friendlies, but he was not called into the November camp.

What do you think of Larentowicz training with Bolton? Think he deserves another look with the U.S. men's national team?

Share your thoughts below.

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82 Responses to Larentowicz training with Bolton

  1. NE Matt says:

    I like Jeff a lot, so I am happy for him. I don’t think he merits a spot on the Nats until he performs at a high level in a more competitive league, but I don’t doubt he could perform if given the chance in the Prem

  2. NE Matt says:

    Actually, check that – I like him on the Nats over Beckerman any day lol

  3. DWBMD says:

    Beckerman is a good player but oh my god is he slow. Some days it appears as if he is running in quicksand which is not ideal for the international level. Wondering when we will get to see Benny Feilhaber in a US jersey again.

  4. NE Matt says:

    Agreed, I love Beckerman as an MLS captain and team leader, but to be the connecting point of our midfield and back line as well as extinguishing fires? Not exactly

  5. Esteban de la Sexface says:

    good move. top MLS midfielder and he could use regular exposure to a higher level of play. should make him better.

  6. doug says:

    That’s awesome for Jeff. He’s a hard working player. He’s the type of guy who can handle the defensive load on his own. He needs to take his game to the next level, so hopefully this is the first step.

  7. joel says:

    both him and beckerman are good solid players but I dont see them in the national team…think we have better players in that position.

  8. Tyler says:

    I hope this becomes the norm for all MLS players. It will help the quality of play in the league will increase even more

  9. patrick says:

    at this point, he is what he is and wont really be getting any better. I think he could be a fine player for a club like bolton, though I’d him mostly as a reserve/cup player rather than a starter

  10. dinho says:

    sorry, no way he makes the bolton squad (even if this were a trial).

    he is simply not THAT good.

  11. chris says:

    Is this a joke?

  12. martha says:

    Proof that these training stints are meaningless

  13. Goalscorer24 says:

    Love all the players getting training time overseas, no matter who they are. This will benefit MLS as a whole.

  14. Alex says:

    Its training not a trial why do people always associate the two??

  15. patrick says:

    so I assume you haven’t seen bolton play this year then? They’ve been horrid

  16. Camjam says:

    It IS amazing how many overboard reactions there are by people when players train. Is it possible that Bolton will try to make a play for him? Sure. Anything can happen. But it’s training. The bassist of MUSE trained with the Revs….But they not signing him.

    It’s not as though Bolton claimed he was the savior for the season.

  17. Wispy says:

    Because every training stint IS a trial, to some extent. Maybe a long-shot, but a trial nonetheless.

  18. Drew says:

    Good for Laretnweo…err Jeff. It will be a good opportunity for him to pick up a few things and bring them back to MLS. It’s highly unlikely Bolton would sign him, so everyone can calm down about this being a trial. He’s just training.

  19. PetedeLA says:

    for whom?

    Let’s see. You’re (Larentowitz) a professional soccer player. Let’s assume you actually want to be the best professional you possibly can.

    You’re offered to train with a great team.

    Regardless of what follows, he will have the opportunity to train with some excellent players.

    MLS players having the chance to improve with these stints (albeit terribly short ones) helps the whole league.

  20. TomG says:

    Yes, tend to agree. Really good MLS player. It is good that he’ll get to train in Germany, though. I know everyone says he’s slow, and at times, he certainly seems to drag, but other times he is very quick to the ball. Is he really slow or does he wear himself out chasing plays unnecessarily and get gassed?

  21. Dune Man says:

    These “relationships” between EPL teams and MLS (even Chivas and Chivas USA) do not seem to provide anything of value that I can see. They get to play some pre or post season matches from time to time….but that seems to be about it.

    I thought part of the ownership group at Rapids was shared by Arsenal or something (and partly how they got connected to their coach). I would have thought that would have made it easy for some Rapids guys to go on loan or for training (i am not saying make the team, but go on load or maybe help get some invites into other teams from there) but Arsenal seemed closer to NY (which shares ownership with a company that of course owns a team in Austria) because of Henry. I would have thought some of the Houston guys might have gotten some looks by Bolton.

    I am happy to see any top MLS player (and USMNT option) get looks at by other leagues, but it seems odd that Coach K would have to say “look at this guy” when teams like Bolton already have direct relationships with MLS teams and even play MLS matches in the summer on tour.

    Maybe they should just have some guy on the staff in the UK who can just checkout the MLS blog from time to time or look at the MLS-All start roster and do a little research…heck…lets give each MLS team a free account on Match Day Live ;-) I am glad coach K is pushing for his guys…just find it odd that some of these players do not seem to be on the radar of some of these teams on their own.

  22. NE Matt says:

    Tom,

    I feel he gets gassed because he needs to exert himself so much to keep up with the pace of the international game. Once you get 10 minutes into the second half, its time to get him off the field because he can’t close down space effectively anymore.

  23. Kosh says:

    So these training stints are meaningless, yet having a player train with the best players and ride the pine in Europe is a good thing – especially (I am not suggesting you ever said this) when compared to playing in MLS? I added that last part as the natural progression of things.

    Training is training and he gets a chance to train in a new environment, stay sharp and fresh and maybe with some luck improve his game. It’s easy to hate on these MLS guys, especially when it comes to Nats callups, but the people in the know, you know the people who get paid to make those calls and evaluations, know what they are doing.

  24. SwerveZ says:

    You know how you can tell he’s slow? Look at how many times he pulls jerseys from behind…

  25. SwerveZ says:

    Did he really?

  26. SwerveZ says:

    IMO this does NOTHING to hurt the players going over there. Awesome job by USSF and JK.

  27. I JIK I RED BULLZ says:

    In soccer once you hit in your high 20′s low 30′s you’re old for this sports. This isn’t like Basketball or Baseball you can play in the top leagues until you’re 40. If Larentowicz and Beckerman we’re both in their low 20′s then this will mean so much more and they’ll have an amazing chance to improve and play for top teams in the best leagues. In that sense I’m proud of there guys for improving their games but in the end it will be to little to late for them. Glad to see Jurgen have great connection through out Europe and hope he starts doing this with the U23 players because they are our future and present for our USMNT.

  28. NE Matt says:

    the actual linked article in Ives post says it is a trial

  29. Scott e Dio says:

    Kyle Broflovski is better than Beckerman in: freekicks, finish chances, slightly better soccer IQ wise. Beckerman was lost vs France (not the only one).

  30. bryan says:

    I don’t think he belongs on the USMNT, but good for him on continuing to train during the MLS offseason.

  31. fubar says:

    Starting to get the feeling that this is is “throwing spaghetti against the wall to see what sticks”.

    Sort of a random shotgun apporoach.

    Its experimental and I hope it doesn’t come back to bite JK on the arse. The last thing you want is to send over “just anybody”. Sooner or later, clubs will then just ignore or turn down your requests. JK only has so many bullets in his gun for this tactic to work.

    If it takes hold then great, if not its curtain for US players.

  32. Irrlicht says:

    I’d call that an overreaction– these are players solidly in our national team pool, highly doubt they’ll embarrass themselves. Good enough to make the first team? Maybe not. Good enough to train? Yes.

  33. camjam says:

    Yeah, during they’re most recent tour they had a couple days off in Boston so he went and trained with the Revs. It was on mlssoccer

  34. Indigo Montoya says:

    +2

    Haters will continue to hate.

  35. Indigo Montoya says:

    God doesn’t watch South Park.

  36. GW says:

    If that were true then most every defender I’ve seen in most European leagues must be slow.

    Shirt pulling is SOP for the most part over there.

  37. abc says:

    And yet he still wouldn’t get anywhere close to regular playing time for them. We’re talking about horrid in the Premier League here.

  38. Indigo Montoya says:

    Dude, while out of fashion, Quaaludes are a fine option for you.

  39. Kosh says:

    It is only TRAINING. Sweet buttery beans, man! Clubs do this all the time. Plus I think Klinsi has a few more coupons left in the “take my Joe Schmagega and allow him to train with your sexy Euro team” coupon book. So chilax. He still has a lot more “just anybodys” to send over for…[gulp] training stints.

    Could this be more? Possibly. For Jeff’s and the USMNT’s sake I hope so. But if nothing comes of it, then that’s cool too. You know why? Because it’s just a training stint.

    Not that I am saying this is your position, but many of the comments on here have the undertones of “how can this mere MLS guy be associated with this/my sexy Euro club.” It’s not like we just hijacked Dan Smoothie from the local fish market and sent him there. Our guys ado have quality. Are they world class (whatever in the world that is)? Probably not. But then again I don’t see the Boltons of the world oozing over with Messi-esqu type players.

  40. ThaDeuce says:

    Say “hey” to Stuart for us Jeff!

  41. GW says:

    If you did,you’d see them playing there.

    It’s not about whether Edu, for example is a better player than Beckerman.

    He is a better player but what most US fans can’t seem to get through their heads is that just because you are a superior player it doesn’t mean you play better than the inferior player.

    Mo is great but he doesn’t always play great. If he always did he would have been the unquestioned starting defensive midfielder a very long time ago.

    Beckerman follows directions and one thing I’ve noticed is since he has been a regular, there are no more early goals. Remember when topic number one was how the US always

    gave up the early goal?

    Beckerman is as bad as you all say he is but the defense looks better than it has in a long time.

  42. hogatroge says:

    I would love to see Geoff Cameron get a training stint in post-MLS Cup. Would really boost his chances of the call up he already deserves.

  43. Adrian says:

    I am unabashedly a Jeff Larentowicz partisan and I think the Ginja Ninja deserves another shot for the USMNT after he’s trained with a team that plays at a higher speed.

  44. hogatroge says:

    Who says Klinsmann organized this. Larentowicz has an agent, and as far as I know JK has no connection to Bolton. Klinsmann says ‘I want MLS players to stay in shape in the too-long offseason,’ so players who would like to see more time in the USMNT shirt look for loan spells.

    There is no downside to this news, however much the Debbie Downers would like there to be.

  45. hogatroge says:

    Pretty sure Holden’s here in Houston rehabbing, although he’ll probably spend the weekend in LA to catch the MLS Cup Final.

  46. hogatroge says:

    I haven’t followed his career closely, but he played well in his 15 or so minutes against Belgium. I remember his cutting out one specific through ball on an error by someone else which would have resulted in a Belgian one-on-one with Tim Howard.

  47. Wendell Gee says:

    People associate “training” with “trial” because they ARE associated. Or are you suggesting that, if over the course of Larentowicz’s training Bolton decide they want to sign him, they will be unable to, because someone refered to this as only “training”.

    “Training” and “trial” is all somantics. They will be looking at him. If they want to sign him, they will try to even if he’s officially only “training”. Likewise, if he was officially on a trial, and did not perform well, they would not try and sign him.

  48. GW says:

    Do you think Bolton saw Holden as some sort of super skilled midfielder?

    I doubt that. They liked him because he had all the so called “American soccer player virtues”.

    He was “honest”, never gave up, followed directions, always fought to the end, was professional as all get out, kept his nose to the grindstone, kept his mouth shut and was in fantastic shape and could run all day. He and Donovan were usually one and two in terms of fitness for the US team.

    And as beloved as Stu is I’m willing to bet that if they were honest, most US fans did not anticipate Holden having such success so soon.

    I haven’t seen enough of Larentowicz to know if he has all those qualities but it’s not just about skill. If you think that just because a player is in MLS because he does not have the skill for the EPL then you probably believe everything is cheaper at Wal Mart.

    The point is, while it is very unlikely this trial will be anything more than that(for one thing, he probably could not get a work permit for England) the truth is you never know and Jeff Larentowicz has nothing to lose and everything to gain.

  49. footyskillz says:

    This of all the stints going on abroad is the one I could see actually happening. Bolton could use him.

  50. GW says:

    For those of you whining about Cameron and Gonzalez not being called up isn’t it interesting how those two are so heavily involved in the playoffs and now the final?

  51. GW says:

    Click on the link that SBI provided.

    Read the article.

  52. away goals says:

    It’s very possible mo is our best #6 and JK didn’t use him there because he was experimenting with him higher up the field.

    Beckerman started five of JK’s seven games at DM. In the other two, edu started there instead and we still didn’t concede early goals.

    When mo wasn’t the #6, he was playing woefully out of position and he looked it. You can’t draw any meaningful conclusions comparing out of position edu with optimal position beckerman.

    What i don’t get is the panic a lot of fans have over beckerman playing. If the gap in quality between edu/jones/williams and beckerman is large enough, we’ll see the change eventually.

  53. Esteban de la Sexface says:

    that’s a really good point. basically Edu is the most talented but Beckerman, Lawrentowicz et al are reliable performers who do the job (sometimes) better than Edu.

  54. Esteban de la Sexface says:

    @GW bingo on that point. i never thought THAT highly of Holden, but i was seriously wrong.

  55. BellusLudas says:

    Good for Larentowitz…given what areas he needs to improve I would rather have seen him train in Germany or Spain.

  56. patrick says:

    so i see you didnt read my comment all the way through? The part about him not being a starter, but a reserve/cup player?

  57. hogatroge says:

    Ok… my bad on not reading the linked article regarding the Klinsmann influence.

    Otherwise, my point still stands.

    BTW… GW, you need to find another target for an unfounded personal vendetta. There are plenty of other targets for you to vent your pent-up sexual frustration upon.

  58. gfox says:

    I’ve got to disagree with you a little. Holden has always shown impressive ball handling and crossing skills.

  59. Brett says:

    Frosted Flakes and Big Red in the same midfield!

  60. hogatroge says:

    Personally, I’m not whining about Gonzalez. As a Houston fan, I certainly didn’t want Cameron pulled away from the squad in the middle of the run up to the Cup final.

    If you’ll read my last post more carefully, I distinctly included the words “post-MLS Cup” (even though I left a little grammatical typo right before them).

  61. fish says:

    He’s slow because of all the drag created from those obnoxious dreadlocks

  62. Turgid Jacobian says:

    “Sweet buttery beans, man!”

    Haha. Love it.

  63. jmadsen says:

    +1

    partly because fanzines like this need something to write about

    an off-season training stint is turned into “Bolton boss Owen Coyle has flown in USA international Jeff Larentowicz for a trial – after a tip-off from Jurgen Klinsmann.”

    I don’t think so

  64. UCanStudyBuzzed says:

    what??? Did you really just try and compare Jeff Lorentzawhatever with Stu Holden!?! LOL

  65. GW says:

    Mo’s inconsistent US performances predate JK. He was all over the place in the Bradley era.

    People love to blame the manager; I blame Mo. I don’t doubt Mo could be the best defensive midfielder but that would be a waste.

    Mo is talented enough to play almost anyhwere on the field at a high level.

    Every good international team needs a versatile guy like that because World Cup tournaments are long and brutal. Roster spots are precious. He could be our Darren Fletcher,Michael Essien or Owen Hargreaves.

    Beckerman is far less talented but is pretty conistent in terms of his performance.

    However much better Mo would be JK seems to be willing to live with the deficit in exchange for consistency. And the possibility that Mo could become the US’ “floater”

    USMNT fans love to forget it is an 11 man game.

    USMNT fans love to have scapegoats; since JK took over the team seems to be heading in the right direction. However,there are a few things that need to be corrected so Beckerman must be the main reason anything is wrong and he is elected to be the new Bornstein/ Sacha/Rico Clark/Conor Casey/ Brian Ching.

    There always has to be a whipping boy.

  66. GW says:

    gfox,

    There are other guys in MLS ( Freddy Adu) equally if not more skilled.

    Holden’s skill and character helped but that alone did not make him successful at Bolton.

    Holden found the perfect storm.

    He was originally born there so he did not have the culture shock issues that a guy like

    Jozy might have had at Villareal.

    He found a manager who believed in him and a club who needed a player with his skill set,character and abilities.

    Jozy, Adu, and all our other overseas players would have killed for that.

  67. GW says:

    Like who?

  68. ANM says:

    You know, no matter what happens with this training stint, the guy’s had a pretty good career for someone who was the 45th pick in the 2005 _Supplemental_ draft.

  69. TomG says:

    No, Holden was always among our most skilled players. He just always battled with form and fitness because of injury issues. He and Altidore are our best pure ball strikers, his first touch is as good as any player as is his vision.

  70. GW says:

    Sure.

    Why not?

    It’s Bolton and both guys came from MLS.

    Both were marginal USMNT midfielders.

    And the guy evaluating them is the same guy, Owen Coyle.

  71. GW says:

    “among our most skilled players…..his first touch is as good as any player as is his vision.”

    Are you talking MLS players, American players or soccer players in general?

    I agree that Holden is a very skilled player. But that is not the only or even the main reason he has been successful in the EPL to this point.

  72. GW says:

    Until 2009 Larentowicz made about 34K per year. Then he moved to Colorado won a Championship and now makes in the region of 150 k per year.

    He has played 175 games for the Revs and the Rapids combined, and has a total of 20 MLS goals. He has 2 caps.

    If you ignore the fact that he was very poorly paid for the first four years of his career, he has done quite well.

  73. golfstrom says:

    Dude, in MLS Holden was already one of the most skilled players in the league. He is not a player w/ the typical ‘American soccer virtues’. You will note he was born in Scotland, for instance. If you watched him in his MLS days, you would’ve noticed a player w/ technique and a soccer brain that is rare among American players. Not to mention he can really strike a ball.

    When Stu moved to the PL when he was 25 – at that point, the player is already who he is. And Stu was a fantastic player already.

    Anyway, I like JL (good MLS player), but he’s not even close to Holden – the comparison is not valid.

  74. joel says:

    i agree with your points, he does what is asked of him well but in that role jones or bradley in my opinion can do it better plus there passing, speed, and defensive skills are better than beckermn but they havent been given the opportunity in those roles under Klinsmann.

  75. GW says:

    TomG,

    If you lined up all the US midfielders and made them do a 5-10 yard dash, I don’t know where Beckerman would finish but I’m not sure it matters.

    “I know everyone says he’s slow, and at times, he certainly seems to drag, but other times he is very quick to the ball.”

    That is a good observation and it might be explained by the fact that “speed” in defenders is often very dependent on how well they “read” the game.

    If you look at the last World Cup there were a lot of teams with 30+ year old defenders. Many of them are partnered with younger, speedier guys ( which is why there is an ongoing search for a “speed” guy at center back) but they also use their experience and save themselves a step or two by reading the situation, figuring what is coming and getting there before anyone else.

    So despite his age it is possible Beckerman could improve as he gets more comfortable with his US teamates and the defense they play. Beckerman’s role, it seems to me, is to serve as what Eric Cantona derisively once called a water carrier i.e. someone who does the dirty work. You don’t necessarly need a lot of speed and skill to do the job. You mostly need to be what Beckerman is, hard working, without ego, persistent, disciplined and very self contained.

    Bradley for example is a superior player but what everyone has always complained about with Michael is he has no positional discipline and loves to roam all over. This is exactly what you do not want from someone who plays that position. Besides Michael is more useful elsewhere.

    For me the most obvious rival for Kyle is Jones.

  76. GW says:

    joel,

    What you want from that position is dependability and solidity.

    Jones is the logical competition for Beckerman but it is only recently that he he started to play well for Schalke so give that contest time.

    Of course if they really wanted to Mo and MB could settle down and do a better job than Beckerman. But,based on their US careers so far they aren’t that much into it.

    Besides MB and Mo can be much more useful elsewhere on the field whereas Kyle can only play one position.

    The complaint I always heard about BB was he was trying to put square pegs into round holes.

    Defensive midfielder fits Beckerman perfectly but it would be a waste to put MB and Edu there.

  77. GW says:

    “He is not a player w/ the typical ‘American soccer virtues’.”

    If you believe that then you haven’t been watching him at Bolton. Perhaps you don’t really understand what the Brits regard as “typical American player virtues”. Google David Moyes and search for any interview where he talks about why he likes Landon.

    Holden is skilled but so is most everyone in the EPL. It takes a lot more than skill to do what he has done so quickly. Without his “typical American soccer virtues” he never would have made it. And if you read my post you will note I mentioned him being born over there helped ease any culture shock most Americans might have had.

    The comparison of JL to Holden is about their situations not their relative ability as players; being American players evaluated by the same guy for the same club.

    If Coyle does evaluate JL for possible transfer then JL is lucky because he will have the favorable impression Stu made going for him. Fair or not national stereotypes do exist in football despite what Sepp Blatter says.

  78. Kyle Beckerman says:

    Nope, he is nowhere near good enough….