Robbie Rogers was a fan favorite during his time with Columbus Crew SC. The former Black & Gold midfielder announced his retirement on Tuesday.
The 30 year old flourished during his time in Central Ohio as a key in bringing the city of Columbus it’s first professional championship.
The 2008 season was a banner year for Rogers, as he made a breakthrough in his career. The midfielder made 33 appearances, scored seven goals and had three assists during the Black & Gold’s championship run.
Paired with players like Frankie Hedjuk, Eddie Gaven, and Guillermo Barros Schelotto, Rogers was a key cog in a Crew squad that saw Columbus win back-to-back Supporter’s Shields with the best record in Major League Soccer.
Not only was Rogers successful on a club level, but he enjoyed international success as well. The midfielder accumulated 18 caps and score three goals for the United States from 2009-2011.
Given his success in MLS, Rogers couldn’t resist the lure of European Competition. He found a home with Leeds United in the English Championship where he spent one season and made four appearances.
His time was hampered by injury and eventually Rogers made his way to to Stevenage in the England’s League Two. Rogers then retired from professional soccer on Feb. 15th, 2013 after he announced that he was gay via a post on his website.
"I'm a soccer player, I'm Christian, and I'm gay. Those are things that people might say wouldn't go well together. But my family raised me to be an individual and to stand up for what I believe in.”
Rogers returned to professional soccer in May 2013 after an invite to train with the Los Angeles Galaxy. His rights were acquired from the Chicago Fire and on May 24, 2013, Rogers made history when the midfielder became the first openly gay man to play in a top North American professional sports league.
He made history again when the Galaxy won MLS Cup in 2014 as Rogers became the first openly gay athlete to win a Major League sports title.
Rogers finishes his soccer career with 203 appearances (184 in MLS) and 15 career goals. Not only was Rogers a playmaker on the field, but was an innovator off of it as well, creating his own clothing line.
As a young boy I dreamed of becoming a professional soccer player and representing my country in front of the world. But as a teenager I grew more and more consumed by fear and shame. And sadly, at some point the scared kid inside me decided that pursuing my dream meant sacrificing a part of myself and hiding my sexuality from the world instead of embracing it. My happiest years as a player are the ones where I could walk through the stadium at the end of games down the tunnel to my partner and son waiting for me at the other end. And my only regret in my eleven year career are the years I spent in the closet. I wish I could have found the courage that so many young individuals have shared with me in the past five years to live honestly and openly as a gay person. These are the young people that inspired me to overcome my fears and return to playing. They’re still the kids that send me letters every week. To those kids, I say thank you. My proudest accomplishment in my career is helping to create a more open sport for you. None of this would have been possible without my teammates and brothers on and off the field, without the LA Galaxy and Bruce Arena who saw me as another player and not a distraction, or without the fans who judged me for my work ethic and my play and not my sexuality. And finally, it couldn’t have been possible without my family, who loved me through all of my ups and downs and always supported my dreams and still do. Lastly to all of the women and men who are still frightened to share their truth with the world, I’d encourage you to come out. By sharing who you are you will not only be improving your own life but inspiring and literally saving the lives of young people across the world. You deserve to take that same walk, down the players tunnel and have your own partner or loved ones waiting for you. Again thank you to everyone who watched or help me follow these dreams. I could never have imagined the happiness I’ll take with me into retirement and into my next chapter.
From all of us here at Massive Report, enjoy retirement Robbie. We can’t wait to see what’s next from you.