Rennicks caps eventful few weeks with first professional goal: "That's just the start"

Revs Open Cup 2019 vs Orlando City | Justin Rennicks

ORLANDO, Fla. – A silver lining can be difficult to find without victory, and while this holds true for the New England Revolution’s 2-1 loss to Orlando City SC in the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup Round of 16, there was, indeed, a bright spot.

Revs' rookie and Academy product Justin Rennicks headed in his first professional goal in the late stages, and it was a big moment for the 20-year-old, who came off the bench in extra time to make an immediate impact. 

“No matter what time I’m going in, I’m going in to make a difference,” said Rennicks. “That back post is always going to be hot, balls going back and forth. I mean, I was there at the right time so I just knocked it in and that was my first professional goal. 

“It means a lot. I’ve got my pro ball right here – first goal ball. It means a lot. I’ve had a goal in my head to get a certain amount of goals, and that’s just the start.”

Rennicks' header off a cross from Carles Gil was a big lift for the team, and it helped boost their energy for the remainder of extra time against Orlando. In addition, Rennicks' teammates know how hard the Massachusetts native has worked with both the first team and Revolution Academy, and understand how much this moment must mean to him personally.

“It’s amazing,” said fellow Revs' Homegrown Scott Caldwell. “He made a great run, great finish. Good to have him back from the national team. He’s done well, and happy for him.”

Rennicks’ first professional goal came at an opportune time, as he just recently returned from playing with the U.S. at the FIFA Under-20 World Cup in Poland. On that world stage, Rennicks also came off the bench and scored the game-winner in a thrilling victory against France.

“Rennicks scored his first professional goal tonight, which is great," said head couch Bruce Arena. “We haven’t been able to see him play because he was obviously away with the youth national team.”

These two goal-scoring performances back-to-back with the Revs and U20s have helped the eager rookie’s confidence grow each time he steps onto the pitch. 

“It just keeps adding on,” said Rennicks. “The confidence keeps coming [with] every goal. It just feels good. I’m going to go out next game and hopefully get another goal, and just keep making a difference out there.”

Rennicks will have another chance to do just that, as the Revs host the Philadelphia Union on Wednesday, June 26. Kickoff is set for 7 p.m. at Gillette Stadium.