Sports

SOCCER: Federal Way's Kelyn Rowe scores three times for U-20 Men's National Team

Federal Way High School graduate Kelyn Rowe scored a goal and had an assist during a 4-0 win by the under-20 Men
Federal Way High School graduate Kelyn Rowe scored a goal and had an assist during a 4-0 win by the under-20 Men's National Team over Suriname in Guatemala on Tuesday.
— image credit: Casey Olson/The Mirror

Federal Way High School graduate Kelyn Rowe has had an impressive few months on the soccer field.

The 2010 Eagle graduate tallied his first career goal in a United States uniform on Tuesday when he scored in the 81st minute for Team USA's under-20 Men's National Team. The Americans beat Suriname, 4-0, in a CONCACAF U-20 Championship match in Guatemala, City, Guatemala.

But Rowe wasn't done. The midfielder, who is currently a freshman at UCLA, tallied both of the American's goals during a 2-0 victory over Panama Saturday. The victory gave the national team first place in Group B and a berth in the CONCACAF quarterfinals.

Rowe and the U.S. will now face Guatemala, second-place finishers in Group A, in the all-important quarterfinal match that will send one team to the FIFA U-20 World Cup in Colombia. That quarterfinal match can be seen live on ESPN Deportes or ESPN3.com on Wednesday, April 6, at 7 p.m. The U.S. will be looking to qualify for its ninth-straight FIFA U-20 World Cup, and 13th overall.

“Going into this tournament our most important goal was to get to the third game,” said U.S. Under-20 MNT head coach Thomas Rongen. “We are where we wanted to be. We have two wins and we’re ready to play our third and most important game.”

The U.S. got on the board just 13th minute against Panama. Greg Garza crossed the ball perfectly to the far post where Rowe fired a half volley into the side netting for the game’s first goal.

Five minutes after his first goal, Rowe’s second of the game doubled the U.S. lead. Midfielder Conor Doyle flicked the ball ahead for Rowe who had darted into the box. On his first touch, Rowe flicked the ball with the outside of his foot over the sliding Melgar and into the net to make it 2-0.

Rowe is one of only four college players on the U-20 National Team roster in Guatemala.

During his freshman season at UCLA, Rowe finished with seven goals and led the Bruins with 10 assists. He was named the Pac-10 Freshman of the Year.

Rowe was also named to Soccer America's All-Freshman first-team and to the 2010 National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA)/Performance Subaru Men's NCAA Division I All-American Team as a third-team selection.

Rowe was one of just two freshmen on the team, joining second-team honoree Soony Saad of Michigan.

Rowe finished the season ranked third in the Pac-10 and second on the team in points (24), fourth in the Pac-10 and second on the team in goals (seven) and second in the conference and first on the team in assists (10). Rowe also earned first-team NSCAA All-Far West and All-Pac-10 honors, as well as first-team All-Rookie honors from Top Drawer Soccer.

The FIFA U-20 World Cup will be played in eight cities across Colombia from July 29 to Aug. 20. The four representatives from CONCACAF will join the 15 teams that have already qualified for the 24-team field: Australia, Korea DPR, Korea Republic and Saudi Arabia from Asia, Austria, Croatia, England, France, Portugal and Spain from Europe, Argentina, Brazil, Ecuador and Uruguay from South America and host Colombia.

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