New England Soccer Today

Revs Tab Rowe with Third Pick

The New England Revolution selected midfielder Kelyn Rowe from UCLA with the 3rd overall pick of the 2012 MLS SuperDraft. (Photo Credit: Andy Mead /

The last time the Revolution had a top 3 pick in the MLS SuperDraft, they took a 21-year-old named Taylor Twellman in 2002.

Ten years later, Jay Heaps and Co. hope that they landed a similar talent in 20-year-old Kelyn Rowe, a Generation adidas signee who was selected by New England with the third overall pick in Thursday’s SuperDraft in Kansas City.

“We went into this wanting to get the best possible player in the draft,” Heaps told ESPN. “We really felt we added a critical (piece) to the team.”

Rowe, a creative midfielder out of UCLA, will be be counted upon to revitalize an attack that was nearly non-existent for many stretches last season.  The 5-8, 150 lbs. playmaker was not present for his selection due to his recent call-up into U-23  U.S. Men’s National Team camp in Carson, Calif.

With a keen ability to keep the ball at his feet and sound attacking instincts, Rowe is a player who seemingly plays beyond his age. But with Shalrie Joseph and Benny Feilhaber parked in the central midfield, he may have to find the bulk of his playing time out on the wings or as a withdrawn forward.

The former Bruin, who was named Pac-12 Player of the Year in 2011 and Pac-12 Freshman of the Year in 2011, scored six goals and recorded 10 assists for his school last season. For his career, Rowe accumulated 13 goals and 20 assists in his two collegiate seasons at UCLA.

In six games with the U-20 U.S. Men’s National Team, he scored three goals and is eyeing a spot with the U.S. Olympic squad, which is aiming to build upon the promise it exhibited in Beijing four years ago at this summer’s tournament in London.

Despite the statistics and accolades, some consider Rowe a raw talent who many not have the polish to feature as a First Kick starter in 2012. However, Heaps will undoubtedly focus his efforts once the preseason starts next week to get his first round pick ready to contribute immediately.

As a member of Generation adidas, his salary will not count against the Revolution’s spending cap.

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