"Improved" Justin Rennicks a Reliable Option for Bruce Arena
"It’s guys like that that help us be where we’re at today. Justin Rennicks is a threat in a lot of different ways and we’re all happy to have him on the team.”
The striker position has been in limbo for the New England Revolution in 2023 but Justin Rennicks has been someone Bruce Arena can rely on.
Rennicks has made seven appearances for the Revs in MLS play and played 173 minutes. In U.S. Open Cup play, Rennicks started both of New England’s games and tallied a goal against Hartford Athletic.
While Rennicks was traditionally used as a striker in the past, Arena has also trotted the 24-year-old out on the wing this season. The head coach and sporting director said that Rennicks has improved even though he was dealt a difficult hand.
“He [Justin Rennicks] has done well,” Arena said. “He's improved. We've played him in a couple of different positions. I think it's been a little challenging for him because we've rotated him a little bit as a wide player as well as a number nine, and we had a period where we had a lot of injuries, and he was stuck playing a lot of minutes and he did pretty well. He had a big goal and trying to pick which game, it wasn't at home, with a corner kick, so he's done a good job contributing to the team.”
Rennicks is an instant burst of energy when he does enter the game off of the bench. His high-intensity physical play makes it difficult for opponents who are tired deep into the depths of games. He has also shown some ability to get by defenders against USL Championship competition and it will be interesting to see if he can start doing so in MLS.
Veteran striker Bobby Wood highlighted Rennicks’ speed when talking about what he has noticed about his teammate.
“[Rennicks] is fast. He’s a great guy. He’s a great player,” Wood said. “He wants to learn, he’s always asking questions, he’s always trying to do the right things. Those are the types of players that help us as a team to be strong. He’s always ready, if it’s just a minute or if it’s 10 minutes, starting. It’s guys like that that help us be where we’re at today. Justin Rennicks is a threat in a lot of different ways and we’re all happy to have him on the team.”
With Gustavo Bou hurt and already ruled out for this weekend’s match against Inter Miami, Rennicks is in line for more minutes. Hopefully, he will find more success down in Fort Lauderdale as Rennicks scored his first career MLS goal against Phil Neville’s side.
That’s great and roo-rah Rennicks is a hard worker and all but if he can’t put the ball in the back of the net consistently then convert him to center-back. He’s fast and physical but at 24 he has hit his ceiling as a forward.