“There are three categories of kids, I think,” Miosek continued. “Kids that have a passion, recreational players and social athletes. Michael is in that elite five percent of kids that have passion.”
That passion was definitely evident in his decision to take a year after high school to play with one of the top youth soccer programs in the country. Rowley said they played soccer four nights a week, and after a showcase in Florida, the team traveled around playing against other teams.
“It was definitely more of a professional atmosphere,” said Rowley. “It was cool to play on a team so focused in on the tactics and strategies of the game.
“It furthered my understanding of the game a lot,” he continued. “My touches are better and I got another year of maturity.”
Rowley was also a full-time student at Monroe Community College.
“He’s had the year of experience to transition to the college level,” said Hubbard. “He has also had that year of being away from home, going to school and playing at a high level, which can be a hard transition (for incoming freshmen).”
While this extra year may seem to be a big advantage for a college athlete, Rowley said he is keeping it in perspective.
“(Playing with the Rochester league) definitely will help with the transition to college, but the majority of the kids at SNHU have played in similar leagues, plus they have two or three years of college experience on me,” he said.
As to where Rowley might end up on the field and for how long during his freshmen season, they are yet to be determined. Rowley was a striker the majority of last year in Rochester, but Hubbard is not sure that is where he will land at the college level.