When Kelyn Rowe joined the Seattle Sounders last year it was the culmination of a career-long goal to play for his hometown team. At the time, he made it clear that it was his intention to come here at a young enough age to make a real impact and to play at least several more years.
It’s hard to imagine his first season in the Rave Green going any closer to plan. Rowe appeared in all 38 competitive matches — the only Sounder to do so last year — and logged his most minutes since 2016. Although the Sounders declined his option at the end of 2021, it was never really in doubt that he’d be back in 2022. Now that’s official with Rowe signing a two-year contract on Tuesday.
“Kelyn is a talented veteran player that we are happy to have back this season,” Sounders head coach Brian Schmetzer said in a statement. “He provides our team with a lot of versatility and the ability to play at multiple positions. We are excited to continue to use his skills to better our team.”
Rowe did just about everything the Sounders could have possibly asked last year, earning starts throughout the midfield and at right back, and even playing a little left back late in games. Rowe’s offensive contributions weren’t necessarily spectacular — 1 goal and 3 assists — but it was still his most productive season since 2017. He was particularly good on the defensive side, where he averaged 2.98 tackles and 4.16 attacking-third pressures per 90 minutes.
“Kelyn is a player that has made his teams better wherever he has played,” Sounders Senior Vice President of Soccer Operations & Sporting Director Craig Waibel said. “We are pleased to have such a proven player return to our team to contribute both on and off the field.”
Rowe’s signing is just the first of several anticipated announcements. In the coming days, the Sounders are also likely to formally announce the returns of Will Bruin, Stefan Cleveland, Fredy Montero and Alex Roldán. They are also expected to announce that João Paulo and Raúl Ruidíaz have signed contract extensions.