FOXBOROUGH -- Much like every Boston team, the Revolution are known for their work in the community. A look at the club's social media accounts at any given time shows many endeavors the club holds: from holding soccer clinics with various Eastern Mass. youth soccer leagues to celebrity bartending for various causes -- even scooping ice cream at Friendly's! -- to Kelyn Rowe's NEGU Crew, you can pretty much count on the Revs for doing a solid when it comes to outreach.
That work continued last Wednesday, and coming about in a rather interesting way.
It was a plea for help from one of the top morning men in Boston radio -- WBZ-FM's Rich Shertenlieb, one half of The Sports Hub's Toucher and Rich Morning Show. As everyone knows, the station simulcasts Revs' matches and has started to really jump in on soccer talk: The Zolak and Bertrand Midday Show interviews Revolution gaffer Brad Friedel every week, and Rob "Hardy" Poole co-hosts the Revs' post-match show.
So when Shertenlieb had a problem, he called the only ones who could solve it -- The Boys In Blue.
“I’m the third-string coach of a 10-years-and-under boys’ soccer team,” Shertenlieb said when BostonSportsJournal.com reached out to talk about his request for help earlier this week. “The two guys I coach with do an excellent job; I, on the other hand, have no idea what I’m doing. I’m essentially the guy who keeps the kids from tackling each other or talking about Fortnite.
“As circumstances would have it, there ended up being a practice scheduled where neither of the other coaches could make it, and I was going to be the sole coach. With a massive fear that I was going to be run over by a bunch of 10-year-olds due to my incompetence, I panicked.”
Shertenlieb runs the show's Twitter account, and put the request on blast last Wednesday morning:
Dear @NERevolution , I have to coach a team of 10 year olds in soccer this afternoon and I have no idea what I’m doing. Would a player by any chance be able to help me in Boston around 5PM? I know this is shameless but desperate times call for desperate measures. Thank you.
— Toucher and Rich (@Toucherandrich) October 3, 2018
One of the replies came almost immediately from Revolution president Brian Bilello; others told Shertenlieb -- tongue-in-cheek -- to just run them around the soccer pitch and hand out orange slices. Others suggested calling some of the Bay State Soccer League programs for help.
As Shertenlieb recalled Monday, the Revs reached out to The Sports Hub’s swanky new Morrissey Boulevard studios within an hour of his request and told him they would send a player to the Boston Common soccer field for the 5 p.m. training session.
That player was Rowe, dressed for training, ready to go.
“I haven’t done coaching in a little while, so it was kind of fun,” Rowe said prior to training Tuesday morning. “I got there and the kids were pretty excited.”
“The looks on their faces,” Rich said, “were that of meeting a rock star. One player even asked, ‘Is that Kelyn Rowe?’ as he walked up, and then proceeded to be silent with mouth agape for the next five minutes.
“It was awesome.”
Stertenlieb said Rowe took over immediately with drills — dribbling, passing — and even played goalkeeper against the kids, with the youngsters taking their hacks against a bona fide professional footballer.
“Something tells me the kids who were lucky to score on Kelyn are still telling their friends at school about it,” he said.
“It was easy in the sense that they just wanted to learn,” Rowe explained. “They were having a good time; Rich and I had a good time teaching them some things.”
He added that after the hour-long practice, Rowe signed every autograph, took every picture, and Shertenlieb invited all the league’s teams that were there to come over and do an impromptu Q&A with the Revs’ de facto left back.
He said: “The questions ranged from the heartbreaking (“Were you in the World Cup this year?” and “Why did you lose the game I saw you play in at Gillette?” to which Kelyn was hysterical in his reaction), to the laugh out loud funny (“What’s your score in FIFA?” “Have you met Neymar?” “Do you live in a humungous mansion?”)
“I can’t say enough good things about what Kelyn and the Revs did for that youth soccer league that day. It was truly one of the cooler things I’ve seen an athlete do, and we are lucky to have such a good organization and players that are that connected to the community.”
Just an all time cool-guy move by Kelyn Rowe of the @NERevolution for coming to Boston yesterday and giving an incredible clinic to a local youth soccer league. And most importantly from saving me from the embarrassment of having to do it disasterously. @KRowe210 pic.twitter.com/3kSwq1SFQq
— Toucher and Rich (@Toucherandrich) October 4, 2018
Rowe said Tuesday that it’s a little too early to think about a coaching career after his professional playing career is completed.
“I haven’t thought about it. It’s kind of taboo in the sense of thinking about what you want to do after work; we only have a certain amount of time to work. But I know that I want to coach my kids at some point, when I do have kids,” he said.