It’s a sight LA Galaxy supporters and coaches aren’t used to seeing. On Saturday night, in front of 435 LA Galaxy II spectators, Robbie Rogers made his first start of the 2014 season — and he looked both dynamic and comfortable. Rogers was more than a match for the wind-sprints-pace of USL Pro. And he provided ball control, precise passing and possession to a team in need of all three during his 80 minutes on the field.
Unlike last week, where he subbed in to the right wing, Rogers spent most of Saturday night on the opposite side of the field. He attacked with purpose down the left and made space for the midfield of Rafael Garcia, Andre Auras, and Raul Mendiola.
It’s a great game for me to play in. Kind of battled through that game. It was really fast and a bit hectic and physical. It’s what you need when you’re coming back from an injury — to play in those games and fight through the soreness in your legs.
His passing was accurate and his footwork smooth. He provided the LA Galaxy II with just what they needed – width – and handily exploited the acres of space OC afforded him. While he didn’t wind up in many dangerous attacks, he positioned himself well and played both ways.
I still don’t feel as sharp as I want to be. But I’m thankful to play in these kinds of games because last year we didn’t have this kind of stuff — and you can really feel a difference, being able to play in games where you really have to struggle physically to get back in shape, and to find your touch and find your sharpness.
Rogers expects to be playing in another LA II game next week and then he’ll be “good to go.” Whether that means a return to the senior side is anyone’s guess. But with his time on the field for Los Dos seemingly near an end, he may have a shot at some minutes on the first team — likely as a late sub to one of the outside midfielder positions.
I can’t imagine Rogers starting for the senior squad any time soon. But Bruce Arena is in real need of options in the middle. When the midfield needs fresh legs, Bruce needs someone comfortable with the position. Maybe – just maybe – Robbie Rogers is that guy.