Kelyn Rowe has signed a two-year contract with the Sounders FC, the club announced Tuesday.

Rowe was an interchangeable piece in Sounders coach Brian Schmetzer’s chess-like tactical schemes last season. Rowe, a former Federal Way High star, appeared in every game and made starts in three different positions, including right wingback, which was the biggest adjustment for the 10-year veteran.

Details of Rowe’s new contract weren’t released, but he took an approximate 42% pay cut to play for the Sounders last season, earning $180,000, according to figures provided by the MLS Players Association.

Although Rowe’s contract wasn’t announced until Tuesday, the attacking midfielder has been at Sounders training since Day 1.

Rowe was selected third overall in the 2012 MLS SuperDraft by the New England Revolution. He made 206 appearances in seven consecutive seasons with the Revs. Rowe, 30, bounced from Real Salt Lake to Sporting Kansas City before re-signing with New England in 2020.

Schmetzer needed Rowe’s versatility and durability as the Sounders managed international call-ups and were hit with multiple injuries as the season progressed. Rowe started in the Leagues Cup final in September and the MLS playoff opener, which Seattle lost to RSL 6-5 in penalty kicks after a goal-less draw.


Rowe missed the decisive penalty kick.

“It’s not that he lost it for us,” Stefan Frei said after the match, the Sounders keeper unable to deflect Real’s playoff-winning penalty kick. “ (Kelyn) put in a heck of a shift and had a really good year for us. A really good pick up and addition for this squad. So, we don’t have to assure him that he puts the extra blame on himself or anything like that. We win and we lose as a team and that doesn’t have to be said in this squad.”

Rowe finished the season with one goal and three assists, starting 24 of his 34 regular season matches.

Preseason dates

The Sounders switched training sites to Lumen Field this week due to the field conditions at Starfire Sports in Tukwila because of last month’s snowfall. The club won’t have to worry about weather next week as it heads to Tucson for a 10-day camp in the expected sun.

Seattle will also play two preseason matches — against the Portland Timbers on Jan. 26 and Colorado Rapids on Feb. 1 — as part of the Desert Showcase hosted by FC Tucson.

The Sounders will return home for the opening week of February, then travel to Palm Springs for training Feb. 9-15. Seattle will participate in the Coachella Valley Invitational, playing a preseason game against the host Los Angeles Galaxy (Feb. 10).

Seattle will head to Honduras after the California trip for final prep for the CONCACAF Champions League tournament. The Sounders play F.C. Motagua in the opening series in Tegucigalpa on Feb. 17 and at Lumen Field on Feb. 24.


The club’s MLS opener is Feb. 27 against Nashville SC at Lumen Field.

Seattle stars

Sounders midfielder Cristian Roldan and new signee Dylan Teves are candidates for the men’s Seattle Sports Star of the Year award. The Seattle Sports Commission announced the nominees on Tuesday for the 87th annual event.

Winners are selected via online voting based on their 2021 performances. Fans can log votes hourly from Tuesday through Jan. 23.

Roldan, who’s currently training with the U.S. men’s national team, was an MLS All-Star and finished the season with a career-high tying six goals with six assists. He helped the USMNT win the CONCACAF Gold Cup.

Teves led the University of Washington to the NCAA men’s soccer championship game. He had back-to-back hat tricks in the postseason, finishing the season with a team-high 12 goals and eight assists. Teves was one of three finalists for the Hermann Trophy, which honors the top player in men’s college soccer, and a first-team All-American.

Say it again

Everyone in MLS knows who Albert Rusnak is, but it turns out many are mispronouncing the midfielder’s surname. Media info has the pronunciation listed as “Roos-nak. Rusnak clarified Friday that his name sounds as it looks — “Russ-nak.”