warning Hi, we've moved to USCANNENBERGMEDIA.COM. Visit us there!

Neon Tommy - Annenberg digital news

Robbie Rogers Makes LA Galaxy Debut Against Seattle

Jeremy Fuster |
May 27, 2013 | 6:53 p.m. PDT

Executive Producer

Soccer player Robbie Rogers made his debut for the Los Angeles Galaxy on Sunday night, becoming the first openly gay athlete to compete in a major American sports league. Rogers had been signed by the Galaxy on Saturday, following a trade that sent long-time L.A. midfielder Mike Magee to the Chicago Fire.


Rogers, 26, competed in Major League Soccer from 2007 to 2011, during which he led the Columbus Crew to the 2008 MLS Cup and received Best XI honors after he scored six goals that year. After two seasons playing in Europe, Rogers revealed to his family that he was gay last October and came out publicly in February while announcing his retirement on his website:


"I always thought I could hide this secret. Football was my escape, my purpose, my identity. … Now is my time to step away. It's time to discover myself away from football. … Honesty is a bitch but makes life so simple and clear. My secret is gone, I am a free man. I can move on and live my life as my creator intended."


But Rogers told USA Today that he had a change of heart in April after speaking at an LGBT youth forum a few days before NBA free agent Jason Collins came out in an interview to Sports Illustrated.


"I seriously felt like a coward. These kids are standing up for themselves and changing the world, and I'm 25, I have a platform and a voice to be a role model," he said. "How much of a coward was I to not step up to the plate?"


Rogers entered Sunday's game as a substitute in the 77th minute. By the time he entered the game, the Galaxy had the win well in hand, leading the Seattle Sounders 4-0 after a dominant first half. 


"Earlier today I was really nervous, but once I got the stadium it was normal and the guys made it really easy for me," Rogers told The Los Angeles Times. "Everyone played great, so I didn't feel any pressure but it was nice to be back and get my feet wet."


Rogers, who trained with the Galaxy for a month prior to being signed, may get more playing time in the next few weeks. Four L.A. players will be leaving on international duty, including American defender Omar Gonzalez and Irish forward Robbie Keane, who scored his first career hat trick against Seattle. Starting defender Todd Dunivant and frequent substitute Jack McBean are also down with injuries.


Rogers will travel with a team of Galaxy reserves to take on the second-tier Carolina Railhawks in the third round of the U.S. Open Cup. He will then rejoin the starters for a Saturday regular-season road game against the New England Revolution.



Craig Gillespie directed this true story about "the most daring rescue mission in the history of the U.S. Coast Guard.”

Watch USC Annenberg Media's live State of the Union recap and analysis here.