New England Revolution academy forward Justin Rennicks was suspended for his final 2017 spring semester by the club for going on a training stint at a Bundesliga club this winter, several sources confirmed to TopDrawerSoccer.com.
During the lengthy Development Academy winter break, Rennicks, widely considered the top prospect in the Revolution academy and one of the most promising forwards in the Development Academy, flew to Germany to train with Frankfurt, which competes in the German Bundesliga. Upon learning of the arrangement, the Revolution barred Rennicks from competing or training during the club’s 2017 spring semester following the winter break. Rennicks, who returned to the U.S. after his short training stint in Germany, graduates out of the Revolution academy this spring and is committed to play soccer at Indiana in the fall.
In a statement provided to TopDrawerSoccer.com, the Revolution clarified their policy toward training attended by the club’s academy players. Namely that unless explicitly set up by the club, its players are forbidden from training with other clubs.
“The New England Revolution Academy is a fully-funded academy investing significant resources in the development of young players,” the statement read. “We communicate clear expectations and policies to all players in relation to the commitments associated with being a member of the Revolution Academy. One important policy is that (unless facilitated by the Academy) players cannot train or trial with any other clubs or programs.”
Rennicks was informed of those expectations prior to attending his training stint, sources revealed, but opted to attend. Without an EU passport, Rennicks would be eligible to sign a professional contract with a European team when he turns 18 on March 20 this year.
During the fall Development Academy season, Rennicks played 12 games for the Revolution U18 side and scored a team-leading eight goals. His last match for the team was a Dec. 4 game against the Chicago Fire, a 3-0 win at the Development Academy Showcase in Florida in which Rennicks scored a goal. The Revolution U18 team is currently in first place in the Northeast Division and has the seventh-best record in the age division.
Rennicks is currently the No. 30 overall prospect in the country as rated by TopDrawerSoccer.com in the 2017 class. He was most recently called up to a U.S. U18 camp in January.
Rennicks’ Homegrown rights are still owned by the Revolution, although his future at the club is unclear. If he opts to sign in MLS down the road, Rennicks essentially has two options. He can either sign with the Revolution or negotiate to have his Homegrown rights traded to another team. There’s recent precedent for the latter case. Midfielder Adam Najem couldn’t come to terms with the New York Red Bulls after four years at Akron and had his Homegrown rights traded to the Philadelphia Union this offseason. He signed with the club soon thereafter.
Rennicks is expected to join Indiana in the fall and, as per team rules, will not train with the Revolution academy in the interim.