Larentowicz: Josef Martinez in class of his own

Martinez scoring goals at never-before-seen pace

John and Hugh
July 18, 2018 - 9:09 am

© Jason Getz-USA TODAY Sports

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Atlanta United midfielder Jeff Larentowicz joined John Fricke and Jon Chuckery Wednesday to talk about their big match against D.C. United.

English soccer star Wayne Rooney became the latest international star, signing with D.C. in late June, to take his talents to MLS. He'll be on the pitch at Mercedes-Benz Stadium this weekend. The 32-year-old Rooney is the all-time leading scorer for England’s national team and Manchester United in the Premier League.  

“[Rooney] has plenty in the tank to help out [D.C.] and the league," said Larentowicz. "He brings an element of confidence to their team.  He allows others on the team to relax, in a way, taking a bit of the weight off of others.”​

Fricke continues along that line with international superstars slowly starting to join MLS with their high-level abilities. But how does Larentowicz categorize Josef Martinez, who's on pace to have a historic goal-scoring year?

"I think he's in his own class at this point," said the Five Stripes' midfielder. "This rapid pace, this relentless pace of goal scoring; I don't think we've ever seen it before in this league. I've played with a few top strikers and scoring but not at this pace. He's really relentless with how he plays and the number's he's putting up. I don't really know how to classify him. I've never seen anything like this before."

He talked about the team’s latest edition to the roster Eric Remedi, who was brought into the club via Banfield in Argentina. Officially introduced by Altanta United on Tuesday, Larentowicz talks about what he sees from the young star. 

“Remedi seems like a tenacious midfielder who will be in there breaking up a lot of plays,” said Larentowicz.

Having to play multiple positions with the absence of Darlington Nagbe, Larentowicz believes the new addition will allow others to play their natural position and be better for the team overall.  

“There’s no question that when top teams come in (to play) they become cautious," said Larentowicz. "Teams have shown when they sit back, they make it tougher.  We’re getting more accustomed to that and we’re getting better at breaking that down,” he added.  “We have to become less reliant on one or two guys.  The more guys who are out there as a threat is much better for us.”