Welcome Home: Seattle native Kelyn Rowe is excited to make an impact with Sounders FC

Rowe Cover Photo

Kelyn Rowe is finally home.

Sounders FC announced that the midfielder had signed with his hometown club on Friday, bringing Rowe back to the community where his soccer journey first began.

“I think excited is a big word that I’ve used in the past few days,” Rowe told SoundersFC.com. “There’s definitely a sense of pride to come back and play where everything kind of started for me at the youth level. To be able to play in front of my family and lifelong friends is amazing.”

Rowe, 29, grew up in Federal Way and spent the bulk of his youth soccer days playing for local club Crossfire Premier. After two star-turn seasons with UCLA, Rowe burst onto the scene with the New England Revolution in 2012, where he spent eight of his nine seasons as a professional. During his tenure with the Revs, he established himself as technical, clever player capable of playing anywhere across the pitch, bagging 30 goals and 44 assists across more than 250 MLS appearances.

According to Rowe, who sports a tattoo of the Seattle skyline emblazoned across his left arm, his return home to the Pacific Northwest is the fulfillment of an ambition he’s held since he first entered MLS.

It was always a matter of when, not if, Rowe would one day play for the Seattle Sounders.

“I knew the day that I became a pro, at one point I wanted to play in Seattle,” said Rowe. “As things moved along in my career, I wanted to make sure I didn’t just retire in Seattle. I wanted to have a career here first. That starts with playing multiple years here, and I hope that continues.”

A versatile attacking player who has lined up in five spots across the midfield, as well as at outside back, Rowe’s positional preference for Seattle is pretty simple.

“On the field - that’s my best position,” he said. “Wherever it may be, I’m going to do a good job about it. I pride myself on being able to play multiple positions.”

Beyond the pull of nostalgia, Rowe’s decision to sign with the Rave Green boils down to two key factors: he wanted to contribute to a club with a history of success on the pitch, and one that has strong ties to the community.

“The Sounders are a winning club,” said Rowe. “It’s kind of a joke around the league that, no matter where the Sounders are seeding-wise in the playoffs, you don’t want to play the Sounders. Everyone knows it.”

Welcome Home: Seattle native Kelyn Rowe is excited to make an impact with Sounders FC -

Off the pitch, the club’s mission statement – to enrich lives and unify through soccer – heavily influenced Rowe’s decision to join the Sounders organization.

In fact, it was a during an away match with the Revs at Lumen Field that Rowe witnessed firsthand the club’s commitment to being a force for good. He worked with the Sounders to facilitate an awesome experience for a child battling cancer from his NEGU (Never Ever Give Up) Crew, and the way the fans embraced the courageous kid had a listing impression on Rowe.

“I had actually brought a child in [to Seattle] and the fans rallied around it,” recalled Rowe. “The club gave me everything I needed in the sense of box tickets, special service for the family. There was a lot of help from both the club and the fans. That was a big positive on my end.

“The fact that that was able to happen, I know that when fans are allowed back in the stadiums and this season really starts to roll, I’ll have all that support when I do bring the NEGU Crew out here to Seattle. That was a big factor to me.”

Playing for Sounders FC is a dream come true for Rowe. Now that the dream has become reality, he’s ready to make an impact with his hometown club on and off the field.



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