Aaron Dennis celebrates his goal in the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup Wednesday night. (Photo courtesy of the Cosmos)
NEW YORK — Aaron Dennis could not have asked for a better start to the season.
The Cosmos forward is 3-for-3, which means he has scored in each of the National Premier Soccer League team’s three matches.
The Elmont, N.Y. native’s latest tally came in the Cosmos’ 2-1 first-round victory over Black Rock FC in the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup at Rocco B. Commisso Soccer Stadium on Wednesday night.
The secret to Dennis’ success?
“Just getting in the box, honestly,” he said. “It’s going to be hard to score if you’re not getting in the box and not being dangerous. So, my thing is just getting in the box. Whether I get one opportunity or two, I’m just going to be there at the right moment and hopefully the ball is going to go in.”
A former standout at Elmont High School, Dennis has scored the first goal in each of the Cosmos’ opening three wins this year, all in the first half – in the 2-0 triumph over the New York Athletic Club on April 27, in the 2-0 victory over Kingston Stockade FC on May 4 and of course, on Wednesday night.
Asked how the significance of scoring first, the 26-year-old forward replied, “Super important. It gives us more confidence. It allows us to relax a little more.”
On Wednesday night, Dennis gave the Cosmos a 1-0 lead in the 28th minute as he converted a left-wing cross from Giuseppe Barone. He eventually was replaced by Bledi Bardic in the 63rd minute and wound up celebrating Bardic’s stoppage-time goal on the bench.
“Everyone was excited,” Dennis said. “I’m happy Bledi was able to score the second one before we had to go to extra time.”
Going deep in the Open Cup is vital to Dennis.
“The Open Cup is great,” he said. “Two years ago with Miami [FC], we made it all the way to the quarterfinals. This is my favorite tournament here in the U.S. Hopefully, we can keep on impressing, hopefully get a chance to maybe host an MLS team. we’ll see and I’m sure we’ll make the fans happy.”
After three games in 2019, Aaron Dennis already is making many fans happy with his goalscoring prowess.