On Thursday New England Revolution announced that the club has loaned former IU attacker Justin Rennicks to North Carolina FC of the USL Championship.
The move comes after Rennicks was recently named to the MLS Homegrown Team, which brings together the best young MLS Academy talent in the league, and is likely meant as a way for him to get more playing time, something that’s been hard to come by for the 20-year-old so far as a professional. A move like this is no cause for concern and is somewhat typical for younger players looking to make a breakthrough early in their careers, especially when they’re playing for MLS clubs that are vying for a playoff spot and they’re a bit buried on the depth chart. For example look at former IU forward Mason Toye, who spent time on loan with Colorado Springs Switchbacks as a rookie before returning to Minnesota United and getting a chance this season. He was recently loaned to Forward Madison FC. Other similar examples are former Kentucky star JJ Williams, who was loaned to Birmingham Legion FC by Columbus Crew and former Maryland goalkeeper Dayne St. Clair, who was loaned from Minnesota United to Forward Madison FC alongside Toye.
As a member of North Carolina FC Rennicks will be reunited with former Hoosier teammates Timmy Mehl and Austin Panchot, who are both rookies as well. He’ll also play under manager Dave Sarachan, who previously managed Chicago Fire and was an assistant under Bruce Arena with Los Angeles Galaxy as well as with the United States Men’s National Team. Following Arena’s resignation from the national team, Sarachan served as a caretaker manager while the search for a new manager was conducted. Perhaps the connection between Arena, who currently leads New England Revolution, and Sarachan played a part in this move as well.
As a rookie in New England Rennicks has made three appearances and scored a goal in a US Open Cup clash with Orlando City SC. He spent a part of the summer in Poland at the U-20 World Cup, representing the United States. On the international stage, he played in four matches and scored the winner for the Baby Yanks as they eliminated France from the tournament and made the quarterfinals.
During his career at IU, Rennicks scored six goals and assisted on another. He was a second-team All-Big Ten honoree last season as well as first-team All-North Region. He was named to the College Cup All-Tournament Team following IU’s loss to Maryland in the national semifinal.