Combine - Kelyn Rowe
Andy Mead /

Skill, versatility made Rowe Revolution's top pick

KANSAS CITY, Mo. – Not even the distance between the Home Depot Center and the Kansas City Convention Center could diminish Kelyn Rowe's excitement after New England selected him with the third pick in the 2012 MLS SuperDraft.

Rowe missed out on the festivities to tend to his duties with the US U-23 team in Carson, Calif., but he said on a conference call that he was pleased to end up with the Revolution.

“I'm very happy to be the third pick and to come to New England,” Rowe told by conference call from Southern California. “Coming into the draft, I'd be happy with going anywhere, but I'm lucky enough to be with [Revolution coach] Jay Heaps. It's a good team coming in, so I'm very happy.”

The Generation adidas midfielder and former UCLA star stood out to the Revs as they weighed their options because he offered the skill and the versatility required to implement Heaps' vision of an attacking, possession-oriented side in 2012.

“Wide right, wide left, in the middle, we see him in all of the midfield positions within a lot of different formations,” Heaps said. “In a 3-5-2, in a 4-4-2 or whatever it may be, we see him playing in a lot of those positions.”

Versatility isn't the buzzword for second-round pick Tyler Polak, but his attacking qualities as a left back stood out when the Revs pounced to grab the Creighton and Generation adidas man with the third pick of the second round (22nd overall).

“He has composure on the ball,” Heaps said. “I thought when you're looking at a player that is purely left-footed, a lot of times, they get stuck out there and they really don't know what they're doing. Tyler really has an idea of how to position himself and how to get forward. He can also play balls out of the back, which is something we want to do this season.”

Both players will link up with the squad as soon as possible, though Rowe will likely have to wait until the last week of January to join up with his new teammates – though he will meet US international Benny Feilhaber when the U-23 side and the US national team scrimmage on Friday – until the Olympic camp concludes.

Rowe's delayed arrival won't diminish the Revs' pleasure at landing him with the third pick and securing two Generation adidas players that could contribute to the squad in their rookie seasons.

“In the case of Kelyn and Tyler, we got two [Generation adidas players] out of the draft,” Revolution general manager Michael Burns said. “They're already signed with the league and they can come in right away and play. I think that's important for the coaching staff and myself to get them in as quickly as we can and get them acclimated.”


Stay connected: Get access to breaking news, videos, and analysis from North America's best soccer reporters via "This Week in MLS" newsletter or using our FREE mobile app.