By Terry Jacoby
Kelyn Rowe is a six-year pro with at least five goals and five assists in each of his last four seasons with the New England Revolution, and he has played three games in 2017 for the U.S. Men’s National Team.
A third-overall pick in the 2012 MLS SuperDraft, Rowe has started at least 21 matches in each of first five MLS campaigns and set a career high with 31 starts in 2016. He ranks second in club history with six career goals in the U.S. Open Cup and one of just seven players in club history to record at least 25 goals and 25 assists.
Off the field, he was voted 2016 Santander Most Valuable Player by fans and named the Revolution’s Humanitarian of the Year in three straight years from 2014-16.
Rowe was named to the U.S. Men’s National Team for the 2017 CONCACAF Gold Cup.
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“I have great memories of playing club soccer … I think it’s gone a long way in helping develop great players in this country.” USMNT forward Kelyn Rowe
Rowe played youth club soccer with Crossfire Premier Academy, being named to the U16 West Conference Starting XI in 2007 and 2008. He was named the No. 5 player on Top Drawer Soccer’s recruit list.
“I have great memories of playing club soccer,” he said. “I went through the academy system with Crossfire under Bernie James and we actually had a very good team. We made it to the finals before I went out to college at UCLA.
“I love the system that’s been put in place. It gives young players a chance to travel all over the country, to play against the best players. I think it’s gone a long way in helping develop great players in this country.”
It also develops players off the field.
“I have many friends from those days and many good buddies from that team still playing or supporting me,” he said. “I get texts and calls from those guys all the time and it means a lot to me.”
A fan favorite for his work off the pitch, Rowe has been heavily involved in several philanthropic efforts, most notably the Jessie Rees Foundation and Team NEGU (Never, Ever Give Up). His work earned him three consecutive Humanitarian of the Year awards from the Revolution in 2014, 2015 and 2016.
Even the best players playing at the top of their game strive to get better. No player is ever perfect in any sport.
After scoring his first goal with the U.S. Men’s National Team this past summer in a 3-0 win over Nicaragua, Rowe took it as a challenge to get better.
“I’m not going to stop learning,” he said after scoring his first goal for the big club and earning 61 minutes on the pitch in a Gold Cup match in Cleveland.
“Any day I go out and play and I get to talk with the coaches, get a video session, and get on the field, is a lesson,” he said after the match. “These guys, who have been around and played all over the place, are guys you want to learn from.”
Rowe learned some valuable lessons early in his soccer playing days and has some advice for younger players just starting out.
“When I was young I played soccer every day,” he said. “I even played up a year so I could play better competition. And after practice I remember we would stick around and keep playing with guys two or three years older than us playing on the higher club teams. My dad had to pull me off the field.”