In a well-rounded weekend for former Development Academy players, two garnered their first goals in Major League Soccer play.
Defender Taylor Kemp, formerly of Real Colorado, played a big role in D.C. United’s worst-to-first season, scoring his first MLS goal during a 3-1 victory against the Houston Dynamo on Sunday. Kemp gave D.C. a 1-0 lead in the 41st minute after Dynamo goalkeeper Tyler Deric stopped Chris Pontius’ initial shot. From just inside the 18-yard box, the left back fired to give his side a one-goal lead heading into halftime. Kemp is in the midst of his second MLS season. He has a goal and two assists in 12 games (11 starts). D.C. United is atop the Eastern Conference at 16-9-7 (55 points) with two games to play. (Kemp’s First Goal Secures First Win in Houston)
Also netting his first goal was Lonestar product Kris Tyrpak. The Chivas USA forward was a second-half sub and his 65th-minute tally turned the momentum during Chivas USA’s 2-1 comeback win against the Colorado Rapids on Saturday (Reaction). Tyrpak knifed his way through Colorado’s defense to tie the score at 1-1, and teammate Felix Borja followed with the winner 20 minutes later. Tyrpak’s tally is up for MLS Goal of the Week. The assist on Tyrpak’s goal went to former Crew Soccer Academy midfielder Matt Dunn. It was his first MLS assist. Tyrpak has played seven games, all off the bench, in his first MLS season and Dunn has earned six caps and three starts during his rookie campaign.
Elsewhere, the New England Revolution drew the Montreal Impact 2-2 to clinch a playoff berth. Former Crossfire Premier midfielder Kelyn Rowe scored his fifth goal of the season for New England. Revolution Academy product Scott Caldwell later assisted Lee Nguyen’s equalizer and the Revs salvaged a point and erased two Montreal leads.
PA Classics alum Andrew Wenger of the Philadelphia Union gave his side a 2-0 lead in the 75th minute against the Columbus Crew on Saturday. Wenger’s sixth
goal of the season appeared to be enough, but the Crew
stormed back with three goals in a four-minute span to pull off a 3-2 win against Philadelphia.
Last Friday, former Lonestar and Dallas Texans forward Kekuta Manneh of Vancouver Whitecaps FC scored the lone goal during a 1-0 win against Seattle Sounders FC to claim its second straight Cascadia Cup. As the Sounders played without DeAndre Yedlin, the team’s star defender was pushed into a midfield role with the U.S. Men’s National Team and assisted Mix Diskerud’s fifth-minute goal during the USA’s 1-1 draw against Ecuador. It was Yedlin’s first assist in his eight National Team games.
Former Crossfire Premier midfielder Kelyn Rowe scored the opening goal of the New England Revolution’s 3-2 road victory against Sporting Kansas City on Friday. Jermaine Jones’ 85th-minute winner grabbed the headlines, but Rowe got New England off and running as the Revs built a 2-0 cushion early on.
In the 22nd minute, Rowe got New England on the score sheet first when the ball was crossed in from the right side and Rowe redirected with his left to the far right post for a 1-0 lead.
Rowe has posted four goals and four assists over the past 11 games spanning a two-month stretch.
New England (14-13-3) and Sporting (13-11-6) are tied with 45 points apiece in the Eastern Conference standings, six points behind first-place D.C. United.
Hamid Earns Career-High Ninth Shutout: D.C. United Academy alum Bill Hamid made four saves and earned his ninth shutout this season as D.C. blanked the Philadelphia Union 1-0 on Saturday. Hamid broke his previous career-high of eight shutouts in 2012, and he is now one win away from matching his personal-best of 13 during that 2012 campaign.
For the season, Hamid is 12-9-5 with 99 saves, which ranks third among MLS goalkeepers. D.C. United is atop the East at 15-9-6 with 51 points.
Galaxy’s Zardes Nets 16th Goal:
LA Galaxy homegrown product Gyasi Zardes scored his 16th goal of the season during the Galaxy’s 4-0
victory against the New York Red Bulls on Sunday at StubHub Center. Zardes’ 69th-minute goal gave the Galaxy a 3-0 lead as the team shoots for the
Supporters’ Shield. Both LA and Seattle Sounders FC have 57 points through 30 games.
Elsewhere, former Texas Rush and Lonestar SC forward Kekuta Manneh assisted Pedro Morales’ 78th-minute, game-winning goal as Vancouver Whitecaps FC topped Real Salt Lake 2-1 on Saturday. Crew Soccer Academy product Wil Trapp assisted Ethan Finlay’s goal during a 2-0 win against the Montreal Impact on Saturday with a second-minute through ball to open up the scoring. Colorado Rapids homegrown Dillon Serna contributed his fourth assist of the season when he helped create Gabriel Torres’ 84th-minute goal as Colorado and the San Jose Earthquakes played to a 1-1 draw on Saturday.
Through standout performances at Development Academy Finals Week in 2009 and 2010, Kelyn Rowe’s stock rose. The U.S. U-20 MNT coaches kept their eyes on him during his freshman season at UCLA, during which he scored seven goals and led the team with 10 assists en route to being named the PAC-10 Freshman of the Year. Called into his first training camp in December 2010, Rowe has found himself an important part of the U.S. plans. One of only four college players on the roster for the CONCACAF U-20 Championship, the quick, crafty midfielder has emerged as a potential starter in a talented group.
ussoccer.com: Heading into training camp in December, did you see yourself as part of this cycle?
KR: “I didn’t really think so. I guess the coaching staff had been following me but I didn’t know about it. I had a pretty good year with UCLA and heard from the staff at the end of the season which was nice. I went in thinking I had nothing to lose. At that point there were two camps left and I just wanted to go out and play. Fortunately I played well and [U.S. U-20 MNT Head Coach] Thomas [Rongen] invited me back.”
ussoccer.com: Was that team camp what you expected?
KR: “Yeah it was exactly what I expected, actually. I didn’t get any surprises, other than I actually played better than I expected to. It was nice to play with players that are so similar to me in skill and maturity and where they want to be in the next five years. It’s nice if you sit down and have a conversation with any of these guys and you can relate. I want to be a professional player. It’s every good soccer player’s goal. With some of the guys, you look at them and you see them as a person first and then you realize they are also a professional and you respect them for that.”
ussoccer.com: What are your strengths as a player?
KR: “I like to think I’m technical. I’m definitely a hard worker. I pride myself in working hard and being fit and maybe I’m the one who can pick the team up if we’re down with my hard work. I’d definitely say technical ability and ability to find dangerous positions with and without the ball, whether it’s me getting in dangerous positions or putting my teammates there so we can do well.”
ussoccer.com: What do you think your role in this team is and will be?
KR: “Thomas talks about the Ajax system. The number 10 is a big number in the soccer world. I like to think that would be the role I’d fit into. It’s the playmaker, the one who’s going to figure out how to get the goal or get the assist. It’s the one who’s going to make sure the ball is being put wherever it needs to be put. The position he has me in, the attacking center mid, is that position and I like to think that is my role.”
ussoccer.com: You were part of some important games with Crossfire Premier during the past couple of seasons. Talk about your time in the Development Academy.
KR: “It was really good. The coach, Bernie James, took me in when I was about 14 or 15 and then I stayed with him throughout the rest of my youth career. The team actually did very during Finals Week, making it to the championship game twice. In that event, we ended up having a little bit of luck as all teams do, and we played well but unfortunately came up short.”
ussoccer.com: Has the experience of playing in big games in the Development Academy helped you?
KR: “Yes, definitely. Those championship games were really big. Going off to college, I wasn’t scared when it came to the playoffs and tournament time. I wasn’t nervous and I knew what to do and how I’d react. Then coming to the U-20s, I was a lot more confident. I have played big games before. I’ve played against good players before, so those things gave me a lot of confidence.”
ussoccer.com: You were part of Crossfire before the Academy came into existence. Did you see a change in the club during the 2007-08 season?
KR: “It definitely changed the dynamics of our club. We were playing lower end teams in our area, which weren’t the best competition. The Development Academy teams from Washington showed that there were pretty good teams and players up there. Playing against the California teams, some of the best teams in the country every weekend really helped us as players. I think the youth level overall is getting a lot better and that the Development Academy is helping develop players as well as teams.”
ussoccer.com: Talk about your decision to go to UCLA?
KR: “It’s actually been a dream of mine since I was about 10 years old when I saw them play. It was my first college game and ever since I wanted to go. My older sister got recruited there for soccer (she now goes to Oregon) but I went and visited the campus and fell in love and ever since I always wanted to go there. Luckily, I had the chance. They ended up calling me and saying they wanted to recruit me and it ended up being a dream come true.”
ussoccer.com: Did you compete with your sister growing up?
KR: “At everything. It wasn’t just soccer; it was a ping-pong match, a race downstairs. It was anything. Unfortunately for her I won most of them. She was not happy, but it made her a better person and when I lost to her it made me a better person because we would both get mad and it just went on and on.”
ussoccer.com: You had a good freshman season at UCLA. What do you take away from that as a player?
KR: “Going in, I didn’t think I had much to learn, but by the second week I knew I was wrong. I developed a lot more than I expected. I became a better soccer player, a better person. I also matured a little bit. That’s what college does to you. I’m taking away experience. College is an experience and it’s really unfortunate that some people don’t do it because it’s fun. It’s a stepping stone in terms of my education, career and growth as a person, so it’s been really fun.”
ussoccer.com: Your season ended in November. What have you been doing to stay fit?
KR: “I’ve been running on my own and playing on my own. I’ve also been coaching back home at local clubs, which also helps because you’re demonstrating to others and finding little things that you don’t actually see when you practice by yourself. But you are teaching it and you think ‘oh, I should probably do that more myself.'"
ussoccer.com: What do you try to focus on when you’re coaching?
KR: “I coach mostly footwork, first touch, trapping the ball and dribbling. I focus on improving individual skill before you go to team skills. When you’re a young player you need to learn how to beat someone and then you’re able to bring the team in. You need to have individual skill to make it as a player.”