It's not exactly MLS' best kept secret, but as Jay alluded to in his news update, Soccer by Ives is reporting that Rapids midfielder Jeff Larentowicz is very much on the market. The Rapids have re-signed Honduran midfielder Hendry Thomas which leaves the fringe national team midfielder as the odd man out and Oscar Pareja, rebuilding his roster, wants to move on Larentowicz and his relatively high salary.
JEFF LARENTOWICZ, Colorado Rapids
Much like Kennedy, Larentowicz has been on the trade block for some time, but this is starting to feel like the week he makes a move. If your team is in dire need of some central midfield bite, and has a first-round pick or allocation money to deal, then Larentowicz can be yours.
I don't think there's any doubt that FCD would love to bring Larentowicz on board. When talking about moving to a 4-4-2, Larentowicz is a guy that can absolutely facilitate that. He doesn't turn 30 until August and he's an undeniable model of consistency having started at least 28 games every season since 2007. If you want to find a guy that can be your d-mid combination with Andrew Jacobson for the next 3 years, Larentowicz is your guy.
But now the downside.
His contract, which he signed a multi-year extension before last season, isn't cheap at all. He was on right at $200k last season and is probably in line for a $15-20k raise for 2013. That's quite a fair amount to pay for any player, but I don't think that's breaking the bank for a solid defensive midfielder. About the only way you could feasibly make it happen this year is if Ugo Ihemelu ends up retiring, an outcome that no one wants, or FCD having some magic allocation/salary cap space that we had no clue about.
So how can Dallas make it happen?
Well, as Ives mentioned, Colorado wants a first round pick or allocation money. The trade rumors have swirled that Portland has money and is looking to move into the first round. I don't think that Colorado would be interested in Dallas' #7 overall pick because it won't grab Walker Zimmerman, who they reportedly love, but what you could do is flip #7 to Portland for allocation dollars, then send that to Colorado for Larentowicz.
It's probably not possible given the salary cap restrictions, but man there's a 29 year old American, MLS Cup winning midfielder still in his prime on the market. Given the current options for FC Dallas, it would be a bold move that would take some salary cap wizardry, but it could pay huge dividends both now and long term.