Kelyn Rowe, one of the most versatile and beloved players in MLS history, has announced his retirement from professional soccer after a 12-year career. The 32-year-old midfielder played for four different MLS clubs. He won the Concacaf Champions League with Seattle Sounders FC in 2022. Also, represented the United States national team and won the 2017 Gold Cup.
Rowe announced his retirement on February 2, 2024, via social media. He thanked his family, teammates, coaches, fans, and clubs for their support throughout his career. He said he was looking forward to a vacation and a glass of wine.
In January 2021, Rowe signed with Seattle Sounders FC, fulfilling his childhood dream of playing for his hometown club. He played 86 games for the Sounders over three seasons in all competitions, scoring three goals and adding three assists. He was part of the historic team that won the Concacaf Champions League in 2022, becoming the first MLS club to do so.
The 2023 season was not easy for Rowe. With three injuries over the year, the player had only 11 appearances with only three starts. In April, he had a muscle injury that took him out of two games. In May, a knee injury kept him out for the entire month. And a hamstring injury got him out between the beginning of July and the end of September.
The last game for the Sounders was in the second leg of the first round of the MLS Playoffs, in November, against FC Dallas. Rowe will be remembered as one of the most versatile and beloved players in MLS history. He played with passion, skill, and joy. He gave back to the community and inspired many people with his kindness and generosity. We wish him all the best in his future endeavors.
Kelyn Rowe's career
Rowe's journey to MLS began in his hometown of Federal Way, Washington, where he starred for Federal Way High School and Crossfire Premier. He was ranked fifth in Top Drawer Soccer's class of 2010 recruit list and earned multiple awards and honors as a high school player. He then moved to UCLA, where he continued to impress as an attacking midfielder. He also took time off from college to train and play with the U.S. U-20 national team.
Rowe was drafted third overall by the New England Revolution in the 2012 MLS SuperDraft, joining a young and talented squad. He quickly established himself as a regular starter and a fan favorite, showing his ability to play in various positions and roles. He was also known for his work ethic, creativity, and passion on the field. He scored his first MLS goal in a 3-1 win over LA Galaxy on March 31, 2012.
Rowe spent seven seasons with the Revolution, making 233 appearances and scoring 35 goals in all competitions. He also recorded 41 assists, ranking fourth in club history. He helped the Revolution reach the playoffs four times, including the 2014 MLS Cup final, where they lost to LA Galaxy in extra time. He also scored six goals in the U.S. Open Cup, tied for second-most in club history. He was named the Revolution's Humanitarian of the Year four times for his commitment to numerous philanthropic causes, especially fighting childhood cancer.
Rowe also earned four caps for the U.S. national team between 2017 and 2018. He made his debut in a friendly against Ghana on July 1, 2017, scoring his first and only international goal. He was part of the squad that won the Concacaf Gold Cup in 2017.
In December 2018, Rowe was traded to the Colorado Rapids, who then traded him to Sporting Kansas City. He played 19 games for SKC before being traded again to Real Salt Lake in August 2019. He made only five appearances for RSL and two appearances for the Real Monarchs (the second team for RSL) that conquered the USL Championship title that season.
In December 2019, Rowe returned to New England as a free agent, reuniting with his former teammates and fans. He played 20 games for the Revolution in 2020.