While the CONCACAF U-20 Championships ended in a stunning upset for the US, there is life after Guatemala for the members of that team. While most of the team has returned to their respective club teams, some of the college players have begun to consider their own professional opportunities.
After a freshman season at UCLA where he scored 10 goals and added 7 assists, Kelyn Rowe was one of a handful of college players to make the qualifying roster. He scored two goals in three matches in Guatemala, including a brace against Panama. Now, he is training with his hometown Seattle Sounders and preparing to explore some opportunities in Europe:
I just needed some extra training. Sigi was nice enough to let me come out for a little bit. The U-20s was great, a lot of fun. Unfortunately there were goals we couldn’t stop in the loss against Guatemala, but that’s fine. Now I’m looking to go to France and Germany to go on some trials there.
Rowe would be a strong candidate to be the top draft pick in next year’s MLS SuperDraft if he chooses to stay in the U.S. I like seeing young players in our domestic league, but I can hardly blame someone for pursuing opportunities in Europe. Some guys have made similar trips and landed in great positions (Josh Gatt comes to mind, tearing up the 2nd division of Austria before landing in Norway).
It will be interesting to see how this goes for him. I would hope he finds a place where he can at least be in the mix for the first team (which means that the 2nd division might not be a bad place). In terms of development, I’m not sure that the Antonin Peterlin/Cody Arnoux experience (wasting a year on the bench of a mid-table club) or winding up with a team’s U-23s would be better than another season of college and jumping to MLS would be.