After a few years abroad, Lennon returned to RSL ahead of the 2017 season, starting 15 games and scoring three goals. RSL made Lennon's loan a permanent deal last December, but 2018 has brought a new role for the U.S. youth international.
This season, Lennon has become the team's primary right fullback after playing across the front line his whole career. He has started 28 of RSL's 30 games this season, adding five assists, as his team sits on the right side of the playoff line after heartbreak in 2017. Head coach Mike Petke said it didn't take much convincing of the player who just turned 21 earlier this month.
“There was no selling,” Petke told Yahoo's Doug McIntyre. “He’s 20 years old, he’s a kid, I told him this is where you are going to play. Brooks is smart enough to know that if he wants to get on the field, this was his best opportunity.”
BLOCK: Brooks Lennon saves Dom Dwyer's shot off the line
Petke has been impressed with his young fullback and went as far to say he has the ability to play there for the U.S. men's national team.
“He has a great work rate and he’s gotten better every game,” Petke said. “He hasn’t even gotten forward as much as I want him to. I’m waiting for him to really embrace attacking from the outside. In my opinion, and I’ve talked to some other coaches and GMs around the league, Brooks can be a U.S. national team right back if he sticks with it and continues to fine-tune some things. He can do that for sure.”
Right back is a crowded position in the USMNT pool. DeAndre Yedlin has long held the role and is just 25. Shaq Moore, 21, has earned a handful of caps with the likes of Keegan Rosenberry (24) and Reggie Cannon (20) on the cusp of getting an opportunity at the national level.