Kelyn Rowe's 2015 season with the New England Revolution has experienced its fair share of highs and lows. However, at the moment, the 23-year-old midfielder is relishing a period of grace, as he has burst back into the starting XI and shone brightly.
Specifically, Rowe provided his team with an equalizer in the 2-2 draw with the Chicago Fire on July 25. Then, after impressing at Toyota Park, Rowe was handed the start in the 3-1 victory over Toronto FC on August 1. Against the Reds, Rowe continued to make a difference when he assisted Charlie Davies' first goal and drew the penalty kick that resulted in Lee Nguyen's fifth goal of the season.
With that type of impact one would expect Rowe to feel on top of the world, yes? Well, not so fast. Instead, the midfielder deflects praise onto the team as a whole and the glut of attacking options at Jay Heaps' disposal. Rowe may be getting the job done now, but it is entirely likely that Teal Bunbury, Juan Agudelo, or Charlie Davies could step up next.
"Whoever is in those spots can make a huge difference and that’s what is so good about this team," Rowe said before training on Tuesday. "We have guys like Teal, Juan, Diego, myself, Charlie, Sean Okoli, and Lee Nguyen who can make things happen. If you stick one of us in there, no matter who it is, something positive can happen."
Rowe also pointed out that he may be enjoying a rich patch of form, but it in no way ensures he's a shoe in for the starting XI come this weekend's game against Owen Coyle's Houston Dynamo. It all comes down to what Jay Heaps feels puts his team in the best position to earn three points.
"It’s a very competitive team right now," he said. "Throughout each day, each training, and throughout each week we make Jay’s job very tough. That’s what you want as a coach and that’s what you want as players I think."
Heaps, who is tasked with deciding which attackers to go with, expressed the same sentiments as Rowe. Tactical implications, one-on-one match ups, and individual skill sets all dictate who gets the nod.
"I think you get to a point where we feel we can change what we’re doing tactically by adding a player here or there," Heaps said. "Especially in those [wide] areas, because each guy plays the position differently and present different problems for the opposing team."
In light of all that, Rowe is still approaching Saturday's contest with the hopes of starting and determining how to best attack the Dynamo's outside-backs. Should he get the start of come on in reserve, he will likely end up facing Damarcus Beasley, who is still a part of the U.S. National Team picture.