SANDY — Brooks Lennon's days in a Real Salt Lake kit aren’t over yet.
The 20-year-old RSL Academy product originally signed with his homegrown club prior to the 2017 season on loan from Premier League side Liverpool FC. Lennon, who grew up in Paradise Valley, Arizona, was originally slated to return to the Reds in Merseyside at the end of the year.
But according to reports first issued by Goal.com and ESPN FC, he appears to be sticking around for 2018 on a new deal.
Real Salt Lake does not comment on transfer rumors, per team policy.
Lennon scored three goals with four assists in 25 matches for Real Salt Lake in 2017, including 15 starts. His stay in Sandy was interrupted briefly by the United States’ run in the Under-20 World Cup, where Lennon notched two goals for the Americans en route to a quarterfinal appearance.
The youngster originally signed with Liverpool out of high school, but work permit issues sent him on loan to start his Reds career. He impressed in spot duty with Liverpool’s youth squad, but did not break into the first team and was loaned to RSL prior to the 2017 season.
Lennon is one of seven RSL Academy players on RSL’s roster, including defender Aaron Herrera, who signed last Friday following two seasons at the University of New Mexico.
Barely a week out from the official end of the 2017 season, Major League Soccer’s next chapter is scheduled to open for Real Salt Lake.
And 2018 will start off with a little history.
Real Salt Lake announced its home opener Tuesday, when MLS’s Utah team will host expansion Los Angeles FC at 1:30 p.m. MST March 10 at Rio Tinto Stadium.
The club will open the season March 3 at FC Dallas before returning home for its first-ever match against former U.S. men's national team manager Bob Bradley’s newest L.A. team that will debut in the 2018 season.
RSL will open on the road, going 5-0-3 in the past eight years.
The complete regular-season schedule for all MLS clubs will be announced in January.
Major League Soccer planned to announce two more expansion teams by the end of the year from a list of four finalists that included Detroit, Cincinnati and Sacramento.
Nashville appears to be one of them.
The league has planned a news conference Wednesday to discuss “the future of soccer in Nashville,” with MLS Commissioner Don Garber in attendance alongside Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam, Nashville Mayor Megan Barry and lead investor John Ingram.
An anonymous source told the Associated Press that the league plans to announce the expansion bid at that time, though no other expansion teams will revealed for the other three.