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Rogers Signs With LA Galaxy, To Be First Openly Gay Athlete In U.S. Pro League

Colin Hale |
May 25, 2013 | 4:20 p.m. PDT

Executive Producer

The Los Angeles Galaxy of Major League Soccer has announced the signing of former U.S. international Robbie Rogers on Saturday, potentially making him the first openly gay male athlete to play in a major American professional sports league.

In a Saturday afternoon press conference at the Home Depot Center in Carson, Rogers said he believed that "there is something unique about the MLS. The locker rooms in the MLS are a little bit differenet than in Europe."  He said that "the MLS definitely is ready and the United States is ready for other [openly gay] athletes in other sports," according to the LA Times.

Rogers, 26, came out to his family and close friends in October and publicly in February, during which he also announced his retirement from professional soccer.

ALSO SEE: Robbie Rogers' Coming Out Giant Step For Pro Sports

After leaving MLS' Columbus Crew in 2011, Rogers had been under contract with Leeds United in England's second division.  His contract was terminated by mutual consent earlier this year after an injury-ravaged 2012 season.  Shortly after his announcement, Rogers had expressed interest in training with the Galaxy, where he is close with head coach Bruce Arena and star Landon Donovan.  Both Arena and Donovan have expressed support for Rogers.

Rogers began training with the Galaxy last month, but his rights were held by the Chicago Fire.  The Fire and Galaxy completed a trade for his rights on Friday evening, allowing him to officially sign with Los Angeles on Saturday.

Rogers could make his first appearance for the Los Angeles Galaxy on Sunday against the Seattle Sounders if the team receives his International Transfer Certificate (ITC) in time.  Arena said Rogers would be on the roster for Sunday's game against Seattle if his ITC was received, but would not say whether Rogers would see playing time.

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