UPDATE (1/15): We’ve independently confirmed that this deal is effectively finished and that Rowe will be joining the Sounders on a team-friendly deal.
Kelyn Rowe is finally coming home, it appears. The Federal Way native has reportedly signed a free agent deal with the Seattle Sounders, culminating a flirtation that goes back to at least 2010.
It took a bit longer than anticipated, but the Sounders have been showing interest in Rowe since at least his college days when Sigi Schmid invited him to summer training camps. When he announced his eligibility for the 2012 MLS SuperDraft, the Sounders made no secret of their interest in picking him and Rowe openly welcomed the possibility. But with the Sounders sitting 15th in the draft, they needed Rowe to probably fall at least out of the top 5 to have any real chance. He was selected No. 3.
Rowe proceeded to justify that pick over the next few years, racking up solid goal and assist totals for the New England Revolution while mostly playing as a wide midfielder. The Sounders made another push to acquire him in 2017, only to be rebuffed by the New England Revolution. There was a fair amount of speculation that he’d join the Sounders last offseason when he was a free agent, but apparently got a more enticing offer to return to the Revolution after a year away.
It should also be said that Rowe’s production has diminished significantly over the past couple years. The last reasonably productive season he had was in 2018 when he had 1 goal and 7 assists. Since then, he has 2 assists in about 1,800 minutes spread out among three teams while playing an assortment of roles.
Most likely, the Sounders see Rowe as a player who can bolster their depth at a few positions while giving Brian Schmetzer a veteran option as a right midfielder.