Sports

TRACKING THE GRADS: Soccer players excel during summer

Thomas Jefferson graduate Lamar Neagle is leading the Sounders FC in both goals and assists this season.  - Courtesy photo
Thomas Jefferson graduate Lamar Neagle is leading the Sounders FC in both goals and assists this season.
— image credit: Courtesy photo

Kelyn Rowe is starting to play like the No. 3-overall pick in the 2012 Major League Soccer SuperDraft.

The Federal Way High School graduate is leading the New England Revolution in assists with six, and is third in goals with two in his second season.

Rowe has started and played 90 minutes in the last three Revolution games and has one goal and one assist during that span. The last time Rowe played 90 minutes in a match came May 8. The midfielder missed the Revolution’s 2-0 win over Houston on May 18 with right calf tightness, and was unable to crack the starting 11 until his recent success.

Rowe’s comeback started when he came on as a second-half sub in a 5-0 drubbing of the LA Galaxy on June 2 in the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup. In that game, Rowe tallied a goal and two assists.

“Every practice, every time I step on the field, every game is a statement for me to either hold a spot or get a spot,” Rowe told MLSsoccer.com after he scored twice in the 4-2 victory over New York in the fourth round of the Open Cup last week. “Right now, it is to get a spot.”

New England hosts the Houston Dynamo Saturday night at Gilette Stadium in Boston in an MLS contest.

The Revolution are currently 6-5-6 in MLS play and sit in sixth place in the Eastern Conference. The top five finishers qualify for the playoffs.

“I hope, as games go on, I see more time,” Rowe said. “As long as I keep playing – like I said, every practice and every game, every time I step on this field – it’s about proving myself.”

In his rookie season with the Revolution, Rowe played in 30 matches, starting 21. He tallied three goals and five assists.

Sounders Women

The Sounders Women’s roster includes a pair of players from Federal Way in Beamer graduate Holland Crook and Decatur grad Jenna Peterson.

The Sounders Women play in the W-League of the pro-am United States League soccer network. The Sounders are in the Western Conference of the 25-team W-League along with teams from the San Francisco area, Colorado and Los Angeles.

The Sounders Women close out their regular season on Sunday when they visit the Bay Area Breeze. The Sounders are currently in a tie for first place in the Western Conference with the Pali Blues. Both have 23 points and are 7-2-2 on the year.

The top-two teams from the Western Conference qualify for the postseason in the W-League.

Crook has deep roots in the Seattle soccer community. Bill Crook, Holland’s father, was a professional player for 18 years for clubs like the San Jose Earthquakes, and had two separate stints with the Seattle Sounders. He is now an assistant coach for the Sounders Academy, where Holland’s brother, Ike, plays.

“It’s really exciting. I come home and my brother has all this Sounders gear, and I want it, but now I have stuff of my own,” Holland said on SoundersWomen.com. “It has been a lot of fun and now the Sounders name has been in my family for a while, especially now with having two of us playing under the Sounders name.”

Crook has played in six games for the Sounders Women and played 447 minutes as a midfielder.

Following high school, she had the choice of numerous schools, but chose to branch out and join Arizona State University in the Pac-12 Conference. Crook, who will be in her final year at Arizona State next year, has played in all 61 matches, and has also been named an All PAC-12 Academic Honorable mention.

Peterson has started in every preseason match with the Sounders. She was selected to the NAIA All-American Team as a senior at Concordia University in 2012.

That same year, Peterson was named the CCC Co-Defensive Player of the year after helping her team to the most shutouts in the conference (13).

Peterson has played in five games this season for the Sounders Women and has logged 217 minutes.

Lamar Neagle

The Jefferson grad is having another solid season for the Seattle Sounders FC. The midfielder is leading the Sounders in goals with four and also leads the team with three assists. In total, Neagle has played in 47 games for the Sounders during his career and has 12 goals and five assists.

The Sounders are currently 7-7-6 in MLS play and sit in seventh place in the Western Conference. The top-five teams qualify for the MLS postseason.

Ciaran O'Brien

The 25-year-old O’Brien is now playing with the Carolina Railhawks in the North American Soccer League. The Decatur grad has played in seven games and has two assists for the Railhawks, who are 5-5-2 on the season.

This is O'Brien's first year with Carolina after two seasons with the Atlanta Silverbacks, where he had two goals and four assists in 2012. He was named NASL Offensive Player of the Week in July 2011 and June 2012.

O’Brien originally turned pro out of the University of Califonia Santa Barbara in 2008, when he signed a Generation adidas contract with Colorado Rapids of MLS and was the fifth overall pick in the 2008 SuperDraft. However, he appeared in only one MLS game.

Sounders U-23

Four Federal Way grads are playing for the Sounders under-23 of the Premier Development League. Jefferson grads Chase Hanson and Steve Mohn, Federal Way grad Murphy Campbell and Beamer grads Sean Okoli and Austin Sweeney.

Hanson and Sweeney are both currently playing at Seattle University and Okoli is entering his sophomore season at Wake Forest. Mohn graduated from the University of Washington and Campbell finished up his senior season at Santa Clara University in the fall.

The Sounders U-23 have two games remaining in their PDL regular season schedule. They take on the Kitsap Pumas at 7 p.m. at Gordan Park Field on Saturday. They close the season Tuesday against Portland at Hillsboro High School.

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