New England Revolution striker Justin Rennicks made his first start of 2022 and he didn’t waste the opportunity.
Rennicks put in a hardworking performance racking up 20 touches and two shots in 61 minutes played. Those stats don’t tell the whole story.
It was clear to see that Rennicks had improved. His hold-up play was much better and he made impressive runs throughout the night. The 23-year-old didn't look like a player getting his first start since 2019, he fit right in.
“Yeah it was great,” he said. “I mean, it’s been so long since I last started, I think since my rookie year, and being out there able to compete and just work as hard as I can feels really good.”
It’s clear that Bruce Arena likes what he has seen out of the striker. He has made key bench appearances in the playoffs and the club recently loaned fellow striker Edward Kizza out to USL Championship side Memphis 901 FC. With Kizza off the roster, Rennicks is sure to get more playing time.
“[He] worked hard,” said Bruce Arena about Rennicks’ performance on Saturday. “You know, still a little inexperienced, but I think for the most part he gave us a good 60 minutes or so. I thought he did a good job.”
The chances of Rennicks continue to get starts only improved after the match against the Red Bulls. With Adam Buksa being sent off and Jozy Altidore picking up a knock according to assistant coach Richie Williams, it wouldn’t be surprising to see Rennicks stay in the starting XI.
Gustavo Bou was also out of the matchday squad on Saturday. After the match Arena said that the striker will be back soon.
“I don’t know exactly when, but he’ll be back soon,” Arena further explained.
With Bou’s status for New England’s next match against Miami in question, it appears Rennicks will get just his third career start. This is a great opportunity for Rennicks to show his worth as well as his ability to succeed in MLS.
With New England being loaded with talent up top, this might be Rennicks’ best chance to show that he belongs in MLS and with New England.