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First Openly Gay Player Robbie Rogers Returns To MLS

Posted 5/25/2013 6:00 am by
Robbie Rogers controlling the ball for Stevenage in England.

Robbie Rogers controlling the ball for Stevenage in England.

Robbie Rogers made waves back in February when he came out of the closet and promptly retired from professional soccer.  Despite being only 26 and having suited up in the Premier League, League One, Major League Soccer, and the US Men’s National Team, Rogers decided that he couldn’t be both gay and a soccer player.  However, three months later, he’s had a change of heart and a change of team.  Robbie Rogers is making a return to MLS as a member of the Los Angeles Galaxy.

Rogers’ rights were picked up by the Chicago Fire after he left Leeds United.  Two weeks later, he came out as gay and retired.  Now, LA  has traded for his rights, giving up striker Mike Magee in exchange for the winger.  The trade reunites Rogers with former USMNT coach Bruce Arena, as well as putting him closer to his childhood home in Huntington Beach, California.  Rogers made his debut in MLS with the Columbus Crew, winning a MLS title in 2008.

This is the rare move that seems like it benefits all involved.  Rogers gets to go to one of the marquee teams in MLS, while LA gets itself a little extra attention by having the first gay player in the league in a gay-friendly environment thereby replacing some of the missing Beckham drawing power.  As for Chicago, they traded rights away for a game-fit player, and Mike Magee is a Chicago local who gets to play for his hometown team.  Looks like it worked out well for all involved!

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