After 11 years, Robbie Rogers hangs up his boots, for good this time.
While it comes as no surprise to most LA Galaxy fans, today it became official. Robbie Rogers, 30-years old, announced his retirement from professional soccer after 11 years in the sport, two MLS Cup Trophies and a career that spanned time in England, the Netherlands and here in the United States with both the Columbus Crew and the Galaxy.
“It is with mixed emotions that I announce my retirement from the game of soccer,” said Rogers. “It is through this game that I have experienced some of my greatest achievements both professionally and personally and I am forever indebted to the numerous individuals – coaches, teammates, staff, and fans – that have helped me during this journey. I want to personally thank Mr. Anschutz, Dan Beckerman and the entire AEG family for the opportunities and continual support they have given me during my time with the LA Galaxy. I would like to thank Bruce Arena for encouraging me to return to professional soccer after I came out as a gay man. I’d also like to thank all of my LA Galaxy teammates for accepting me from the first day I stepped back into the locker room at StubHub Center. Finally, I’d like to thank the fans for their continued support throughout my career. I’ll never forget the feeling of returning to the field in my first game back. That feeling of acceptance and support pushed me as an athlete and as a person. Having the opportunity to win an MLS Cup in my hometown, with my hometown club as an openly gay man will be something I will carry with me for the rest of my life. I will remain deeply connected to this sport and its surrounding community. I leave the game full of pride of what I have accomplished as a person and a player. I am looking forward to the next chapter of my life.”
Rogers grew up locally in Rancho Palos Verdes and eventually attended Mater Dei High School in Santa Ana before going to the University of Maryland where he won a National Championship in his first year.
After forgoing his remaining three years of eligibility in college, Rogers had limited success in Holland with SC Heerenveen in 2006.
His MLS career spanned five years with the Crew before moving and playing abroad. Rogers joined the Galaxy in 2013 after initially retiring from the game after coming out as gay.
Rogers eventually was persuaded by, then Head Coach and General Manager, Bruce Arena to come out of retirement and back to MLS and the Galaxy in 2013 after his rights were acquired from the Chicago Fire for Mike Magee — a move at the time that drew some questions. Especially after Magee earned the 2013 MLS MVP and Rogers was just working his way back into shape.
He debuted with the club on May 27, 2013, and became the only openly gay male player to play in a major professional sports league in North America.
— LA Galaxy (@LAGalaxy) November 8, 2017
In 2014 Rogers was part of the Galaxy’s MLS Cup-winning side and at that point had converted from a midfielder to one of the Galaxy’s better defenders. A change that would find him under some consideration for the U.S. Men’s National team at that position.
Overall, Rogers garnered a total of 18 international appearances for the United States and represented the country at the U-23, U-20, U-18 and U-17 levels.
He last played for the Galaxy in 2016 and missed the entire 2017 season with nerve damage suffered during offseason ankle surgery. His injuries eventually catching up with him, he held his announcement until after the season most likely to ensure his medical treatment and salary would be covered by the Galaxy.
Rogers amassed over 14,000 minutes in MLS scoring 15 goals and adding 24 assists.
“Robbie Rogers has been an integral part of our club and our community since he joined the LA Galaxy in 2013,” said Chris Klein, LA Galaxy President. “During his time in Los Angeles, Robbie has been an elite athlete and a good teammate. He helped lead our club to a championship in 2014 while breaking barriers and being a force for positive change in our sport and in our community. We want to thank Robbie for his time with the LA Galaxy and wish him the best of luck in the next step of his career.”