Kelyn Rowe’s career could be revived with Revolution

New England Revolution's Kelyn Rowe (11), Andy Dorman (12) and teammates call for a penalty against the Columbus Crew that resulted in a penalty shot by the Revolution in the second half of an MLS soccer game in Foxborough, Mass., Saturday, Oct. 19, 2013. The Revolution won 3-2. (AP Photo/Michael Dwyer)
In his first stint with the team, Kelyn Rowe totaled 36 goals in all competitions, 10th on Revolution’s all-time list.

Kelyn Rowe might have felt like he had the carpet pulled out from under his career when he was traded by the Revolution before last season.

Rowe, among the Revolution’s top performers since 2012, struggled to find playing time at Sporting Kansas City, then Real Salt Lake. He seemed to have gone from United States national team performer — having played in the 2017 Gold Cup — to journeyman status.

Now, Rowe’s career could be revived. He has returned to his original MLS team and will be playing for Bruce Arena, who gave him his first national team cap two years ago.


“That was the conversation Bruce and I had,” said Rowe, who turned 28 on Dec. 2. “I played my best soccer with him during my brief time with the national team. My goal was, and is, to grow and get better. He said, I think we can get you back to that, and he laid out what I need to get better at. There are a lot of things, tactically. Learning the tactics of Bruce’s teams, with the new acquisitions we have, making smarter decisions. There are always things to work on, always room for improvement.”

Get Sports Headlines in your inbox:
The most recent sports headlines delivered to your inbox every morning.
Thank you for signing up! Sign up for more newsletters here

Rowe might have been penalized for his versatility in recent seasons, changes of position costing him chances to produce offensively. Rowe totaled 36 goals in all competitions, 10th on Revolution’s all-time list, but scored only twice in his last two seasons with the team.

“There are moments it may hurt me a little bit, but it also helped give me a reason to be on the field,” Rowe said. “The team comes first. It hurt a little, in the sense of finding a rhythm, but it kept me on the field.

“I’m not going to rule out anything. I’ve had coaches tell me I’ll never play outside back, and then the last 10 games I did. If I’m at outside back, great. I feel I’m best at No. 8 [central midfielder], I’m free to go forward. We’ll see what happens in preseason, where do I fit with the guys? There’s so many factors.”

Rowe believes the Revolution can challenge for the MLS Cup.


“I don’t think that’s out of reach at all,” he said. “In 2014, we had an amazing team, and I think we can get back to that, if not win it.

“Bruce changed things up, and I enjoyed [seeing] the change. Guys have a smile on their faces. The staff, the fans’ reaction — you could see the way they played. There was an energy about them that was different than in the past. I’m excited to see it from the inside.”

Increased spending

MLS teams are still considered small change in the world transfer market. But the Revolution and, now, Sporting Kansas City are among the teams stepping up their spending.

Sporting Kansas City purchased forward Alan Pulido from CD Guadalajara, more than doubling their previous spending in one move. The transfer fee for Pulido has been reported as $8 million by the Mexican daily Record; $9.5 million elsewhere; and 9.5 euros ($10.5 million) by the

Last season, the Revolution bought Carles Gil from Deportivo La Coruna for $2 million and Gustavo Bou from Club Tijuana for $6.7 million.


When MLS started in 1996, the single-entity structure and spending caps were instituted to prevent bidding wars. Modifications have allowed greater freedom to invest in players.

Pulido became expendable as Guadalajara signed 20-year-old J.J. Macias, who totaled eight goals in 18 matches for Club Leon during the Liga MX Apertura season.

Meanwhile, teams around the globe that spend wisely thrive and others struggle.

Gil is among 12 players La Coruna has sold for a total of 55.1 million euros over the last four years. Now, La Coruna (1-9-9, 12 points) is in last place in Spain’s second division and is considered the worst professional team in the country. Only nine clubs have won La Liga, and La Coruna, which captured the 1999-2000 title, is deeply in debt and seeking an investor.

Valencia CF, another of Gil’s former clubs, last won La Liga in 2003-04. Valencia appeared to be on the verge of a downfall at the start of this season. Accusations of corruption led to administrative turmoil and the firing of coach Marcelinho, despite a fourth-place finish in La Liga and a victory over Barcelona in the Copa del Rey final.

Early in this year’s Champions League campaign, Valencia sustained a 3-0 home loss to Ajax. But the team recovered and took a 1-0 victory at Ajax Tuesday, capturing first in Group H ahead of Chelsea on goal differential. Questions remain about the club’s stability, but Valencia (7-4-5, 26 points), eighth place in La Liga, does have the support of deep-pocketed Singaporean investor Peter Lim.

Hard times

Mismanagement appears to have led to Cruzeiro EC being relegated from Brazil’s Serie A for the first time in the club’s 98-year history.

Cruzeiro recovered from a similar situation in 1997, but barely. The club was falling in the standings, though it was good enough to win the Copa Libertadores, and avoided relegation on the final day of the season.

Cruzeiro has profited from sales of players. But the club might have done better, considering it developed players such as Ronaldo, considered by many the world’s best in the mid-’90s, plus Barcelona-bound Giovanni, longtime Benfica captain Luisao, and several Serie A stars.

After winning the 2014 Brasileirao, Cruzeiro visited Bowditch Stadium in Framingham, playing before a packed house in a 5-1 win over Miami Dade FC. Cruzeiro featured four players — Ricardo Goulart (15 million), Everton Ribeiro (15 million), Lucas Silva (13 million), and Egidio (2.25 million) — who were sold for a total of 45.25 million euros, plus three others who went for 13.35 million euros. Cruzeiro remained strong enough to win the Copa do Brazil in 2017 and ’18, before collapsing this season.