After seven seasons, 29 goals, 40 assists, and four-plus years of curing a bad day, midfielder Kelyn Rowe’s days with the Revolution are at an end.
The Route 1 outfit moved the fan favorite in a three-way deal Tuesday evening, ending speculation about the Federal Way, Wash. native’s future in Foxborough.
In the deal, Rowe moved from New England to the Colorado Rapids, who sent defender Edgar Castillo to the Revs. Castillo had re-signed with Colorado Tuesday afternoon to get the sign-and-trade underway.
Castillo had been on loan in 2018 from Liga MX club Monterrey.
But that’s not all: the Rapids then turned around and traded Rowe and $300,000 in allocation money — $200,000 in GAM, $100,000 in TAM — to Sporting Kansas City in exchange for Chilean striker Diego Rubio.
“On behalf of the organization, I want to thank Kelyn for the past seven years he has spent representing the New England Revolution with professionalism on and off the field,” Revolution general manager Michael Burns said. “Beyond his numerous contributions on the field, he will always be remembered by the club and the fans for his work in the community. We wish Kelyn all the best.
“We are excited to welcome Edgar to the Revolution and look forward to having him join us in New England ahead of preseason next month. We believe his experience at both the domestic and international levels, including his successful first season in MLS with the Rapids last year, will immediately benefit us this season.”
In a post-trade tweet, Rowe said, “Can’t say enough thank you’s for the last 7 years. To the fans, no words can describe how thankful I am for every bit of support you showed myself and continued to show every #KelynsNEGUCrew member. You all showed the humanity and true character of New England. #NERevs”
Rowe’s departure comes after a trying season for the midfielder, who came to New England as the third overall selection in the 2012 MLS SuperDraft following two intercollegiate seasons at UCLA. Of his 26 appearances this past season, only 18 of those were in a starting role. He had missed three matches in April after suffering a knee injury in training on April 12.
In addition, it felt that Rowe had fallen down the depth chart at times, especially during the latter portions of the summer: following a 90-minute appearance against Minnesota United on July 18, Rowe would go on to play 20 minutes in a substitute’s role against New York Red Bulls on July 21, fail to make the squad against Orlando City on Aug. 4, play 10 minutes against Philadelphia, then find himself rooted to the bench for the third match of the season against the Union as well as against DC United.
In both matches, Rowe found himself looked over in favor of players with less experience.
Not only that, it appeared that Rowe had a chance to move into the No. 10 role won by Diego Fagundez at the start of the season following Lee Nguyen’s well-publicized hold-out. Instead, when he played, Rowe found himself out on the right wing. He would see a good amount of time during the latter stages of the season at left back — a position he has played in each of the last three seasons.
Rowe scored his only goal of the season in the penultimate match, a 4-1 loss to Real Salt Lake on Oct. 18 — which turned out to be his final goal in a Revolution shirt.
After New England’s season-ending 1-0 win over Montreal on Oct. 28, Rowe spoke to fans in The Fort; the Six States One Podcast crew said that it felt like Rowe had said goodbye to the supporters when he was on the mike. Minutes later, he spoke with the media about the potential of returning to Foxborough in 2019, noting that it was out of his hands.
The Revs picked up his option for 2019, and subsequently protected him prior to last Tuesday’s expansion draft.
During his tenure with New England, supporters voted him the 2016 Most Valuable Player, and has been a four-time winner of the club’s Humanitarian of the Year from 2014-17 thanks to his work with the Jessie Rees Foundation’s NEGU Crew and other philanthropic causes.
Castillo, an attacking left back who turned 32 in October, hails from Las Cruces, New Mexico and is a former Mexican and US international, having played for both countries. Castillo has played a majority of his football in Mexico’s Liga MX before his loan move to Colorado in the 2018 season.
He started his career with Santos Laguna in 2006 before moving to Club America in 2009, making 20 appearances before going on four separate loan stints over the next four seasons: he would make 26 appearances for Tigres UANL before a handful with San Luis FC; he also spent time with Puebla in 2011 and finally with Tijuana in 2012, where he would eventually move to on a full-time basis from 2012-14.
In the 2014-15 season, Castillo had moved to Atlas, before moving to Monterrey for the Apertura — the fall session — in 2015. He remained with Los Rayados until this past season, when Colorado acquired him in a season-long loan.
He made 28 appearances — all starts — for the Rapids in 2018, scoring three goals and registering five assists in 2,440 minutes played.
Castillo made three appearances in friendlies for the Mexico national team before a new FIFA regulation allowed him to make a single international switch to the US national team.