Robbie Rogers is an openly gay soccer player who is contemplating a return to the pitch after retiring from the game earlier in 2013. Rogers was the first British soccer player to reveal he is gay since Justin Fashanu did it 1990.
The 25-year-old last played for Stevenage of League One in January on loan from Leeds United. He appeared in six matches for Stevenage before being returned from his loan.
Rogers then mutually agreed to part ways with Leeds United and is now setting up to join the L.A. Galaxy of Major League Soccer in the United States. According to Yahoo! Sports, Rogers joined Galaxy on Tuesday for an open-ended training session and could become an official member of the club in the near future.
Galaxy players worked well with Rogers during training and captain Landon Donovan made comments after the session to let it be known that he hopes the openly gay soccer player joins the club for good.
It’s been over two months since Rogers has appeared in a match and he will have to get back into shape before his return is official. The California native should fit right in with the most popular club in the MLS and has already been accepted by the players and front office.
Rogers is a versatile player who can produce on the wing or as a striker. Now that he’s back in training, it’s only a matter of time before he returns to true form.
The L.A. Galaxy haven’t locked up Rogers just yet, as his rights are currently owned by the Chicago Fire. The Fire acquired his rights during the offseason from the Columbus Crew, who Rogers played for from 2007-2011.
During his time in Columbus, Rogers appeared in 106 matches and posted 13 goals. He also represented the stars and stripes for the United States national team from 2009-2011 and scored twice in 18 appearances.
It will take time for Rogers to get back into playing shape and the L.A. Galaxy will have to work out a deal with the Chicago Fire if they hope on making anything official. It has also been reported that other club’s inside the MLS are interested in bringing him back to the sport.
Rogers came out as an openly gay soccer player in February and has since taken a step back from the game. He will now do his best to make a comeback just days after NBA player Jason Collins revealed that he is also a gay athlete.
Will Robbie Rogers’ return to the MLS for the L.A. Galaxy spark the conversation about openly gay soccer players? Do you believe Rogers’ courage to open up will help other soccer players do the same?
[Image via Creative Commons]