In a locker room packed with press, Robbie Rogers talked about why this MLS Cup meant more than his 2008 championship with the Columbus Crew. In his own words, and in its entirety, here’s that interview.
On the season:
“It’s been a crazy season, such a long season. What an amazing journey it’s been for our team, so many the individual battles we’ve had to overcome. But I think in the end it’s made us such a strong team and the character’s just absolutely amazing.”
On his 2008 MLS Cup win:
“I remember last time I won this it was here, and it was totally different circumstances. And I couldn’t enjoy it. I remember, you know, just being alright with it. And the emotion that I had after the game today I can’t explain. It’s been such a long journey, like I said, and for it to end this way, and to share it with these guys on the field has been amazing.”
On what’s different:
“It was, for me, coming out, and yeah, exactly — seeing my family on the field after and just, you know, overly emotional or very emotional. It’s one of the things I said to Bruce and Chris after the game, just thank you so much, thanks for including me, and for having me here and having faith in me. Without them I wouldn’t be here.”
“You should pick up the book, first off. [Laughs]. But in the book I talk about how I couldn’t share that emotion with people. And I went home after the game, because it was here, and I sat in my bed thinking ‘why am I not out with my teammates celebrating this?’ It was weird because I was depressed, and I just, I wasn’t in touch with those emotions. I’m such a different person, and it’s just been… I can’t explain to you, but it’s been a difficult but amazing journey for me.”
You didn’t celebrate last time?
“I went and I had a few beers and I went home.” What will you do tonight? “[Laughs] We’ll see.”
What does this mean for Landon?
“For the team, obviously, it’s a perfect ending. And we all respect him [Landon] so much, so, we wanted to try to give him that little extra thing to end with. But for me, personally, y’know Landon was one of those guys that helped me get back into the game. And he’s been a supporter of mine throughout my whole career and I’ve always looked up to him. So to let him kind of go on his vacation and to start the adventure of his new life and figure out what he wants to do, I’m so happy that he can leave the Galaxy with his head held extremely high. I mean, even without this win he had such an amazing career and I think, the best player in US soccer ever, and in the league, and he’s done so much. So just to let him have that extra silverware is just, I don’t know, I’m just very proud of the team and just happy I get to share it with him.”
After Tierney’s goal (which tied the game, 1–1), how did you feel?
“That was a little difficult play, too. And I knew that we had a few chances before that, so that was a little frustrating. But again, the character of this team, I, especially in extra time I was watching from the bench, I was saying like ‘we’re gonna get a goal, we’re gonna get a goal,’ and that chance that Robbie finished was, that’s why he is who he is, so, I don’t know, I never thought for a second we were going to lose.”
And after Robbie Keane’s game-winner?
“What an amazing season and the past few years he’s had here, you could say his whole career. But for him to finish that chance and to win it for us just shows what kind of player he is.”
On LA’s defense in the final:
“First half they had one chance that A.J. blocked, and second half, I don’t know, there was a few maybe. We’ve been great defensively all year as a team, and obviously we were, in the game disappointed to give away that goal. But we responded.”
On Juninho and Sarvas:
“The ground they cover and the work they put in is absolutely amazing. Definitely two of the best center mids in the league; they’ve been outstanding all season.”
On the final goal:
“It was tough. When we scored I got up and I almost fainted. I was so exhausted, and the emotion and everything, I honestly almost fainted so I had to like, sit back down. But it was difficult to watch. MLS finals are always weird. I’ve never watched an MLS final where I was like ‘wow, that’s a great game.’ You know we’ve played such attractive and amazing soccer all season. So it was just, a lot of them are just a scrap and you’ve got to battle, and that’s what we did, and then we finished our chances.”
“I think as a team we weren’t as sharp as we usually are. Maybe that was the nerves, I’m not sure. But we still created plenty of chances to win the game.”
On his early chance on goal:
“When I cut him it almost like, started bouncing away from me. But I thought it was a good way to start the game.
I wanted to be aggressive, and we’re playing at home, I wanted to send a message to them that this is going to be a difficult 90 minutes for them. So I wanted to get forward and try to create chances and get some tackles early on, just to kind of set the tone for the game.”