CARSON, Calif. – For the first time since his announcement that he is gay, Robbie Rogers trained with a professional soccer team on Tuesday, training with the LA Galaxy at The Home Depot Center.
According to head coach Bruce Arena, the Galaxy have been in discussions with Rogers for some time to allow him to train with the club. The 25-year-old Southern California native revealed that he is gay in February and promptly retired from the game of soccer.
A potential Rogers return would be historic as no publically gay player has ever played in American sports. But apart from the historic implications, how did Rogers look on the field on Tuesday?
“It’s preseason for him. You could tell he was a little nervous,” said Magee, who has been friends with Rogers for nearly 10 years. “I spoke to him after and he was saying that he was feeling like an old man and I told him that I know how he feels.”
Should Rogers choose to resume is professional career in MLS, his rights are owned by the Chicago Fire, who acquired him during preseason in a trade with the Columbus Crew. Rogers spent five years with Columbus before departing for England where he spent time with Leeds United and Stevenage.
Galaxy veteran Landon Donovan told reporters that it was exciting to play with Rogers, who is still looking to regain fitness and admitted that he hopes that the Galaxy can work out a deal with Chicago.
“It was fun to play with him. He’s been out awhile so it’s going to take him awhile to get back into it and he would admit that,” said Donovan. “Hopefully he does well, my personal hope is that we can sign him and we can work out a way to work out a trade with Chicago.
“I think that beyond the immediate soccer part, I think there’s much bigger positive consequences that could come from that and we’re all hopeful that he can get fit and Bruce wants to sign him.”
If LA were to be interested in Rogers, which was a subject that Galaxy head coach Bruce Arena did not address on Tuesday, a trade would need to be worked out for his rights. There would likely be other teams interested in the U.S. international as Seattle Sounders FC head coach Sigi Schmid told reporters on Tuesday that he’d be interested in acquiring Rogers from Chicago.
However, there’s no doubt for Magee that Rogers would fit in well with the Galaxy locker room.
“I think that he’s coming into the perfect locker room where,” Magee said. “Everyone is secure in our jobs and our environment is first class and our organization is first class. There are no egg shells, nobody is dodging subjects or watching what they say. We joked with him and tried to make him feel comfortable. I think our locker room is so easy going that it was easy for him (today). For him personally, it was great to overcome that fear of what would guys would say or do. I think it’s great, he reacted well and fits right into the group.”
With an assist in a 89 minute shift in the LA Galaxy's 2-0 victory over Real Salt Lake, Galaxy midfielder Hector Jimenez is up for FutbolMLS.com's Latino de la Jornada.
Jimenez's pass to Rugg for the second LA Galaxy goal is below...
CARSON, Calif. – LA Galaxy Academy alum and UCLA defender Javan Torre is continuing to develop as a center back and he may get the opportunity of a lifetime as a member of the U.S. Under-20 side at the 2013 U-20 World Cup in Turkey.
Following a successful freshman season that saw him play in 12 matches for the Bruins, Torre made three appearances for the U.S. U-20’s during the U-20 CONCACAF Championship in March. Several weeks later, Torre was one of the Galaxy’s standouts during their participation in the Gordon Jago Super Group at the Dallas Cup youth tournament in March.
As Torre continues to progress as a center back, he admits that the Dallas Cup was vital for his progression.
“I was able to get games in and played at a high level against professionals, who take every day very seriously,” Torre told LA Galaxy Insider. “When we compete against them, it makes us better.”
Following a successful camp with the U.S. U-20’s that included appearances in a scrimmage against Cal FC as well as an intrasquad scrimmage last week, Torre is hopeful that he has done enough to preserve his spot on the team.
Although he’ll have plenty of competition including former Galaxy Academy teammate Jeffrey Payeras, Torre believes that he’ll be in the mix for a ticket to the World Cup.
“This was just a camp like any other even if there are more players that I’m competing with. I just have to come out and try to play my game,” Torre said. “I think I’ve done pretty well. I could do a little bit better with my fitness, but it’s not bad.”
SANDY, Utah – At long last, Gyasi Zardes had the chance to step onto the field. The 21-year-old Homegrown forward made his professional debut by going 37 minutes in the LA Galaxy’s 2-0 victory over Real Salt Lake last Saturday.
The moment was a tad bittersweet, however, as Zardes checked into the match at the 53rd minute for the injured Jack McBean, who was discovered to have a broken left clavicle following the match. Once Zardes stepped onto the field, he became the third Galaxy player to make his professional debut in the 2-0 victory, joining starters Brian Rowe and Charlie Rugg. The last time that three Galaxy players made their MLS debuts was March 22, 2009 when A.J. DeLaGarza, Omar Gonzalez and Kyle Patterson participated in LA's 2-2 draw with D.C. United.
“It was amazing,” Zardes told LA Galaxy Insider of his professional debut. “Just to have the opportunity to come onto the field and to contribute to the team felt great. They put me in for a reason so I just had confidence from the get go.”
A day later, Zardes went 45 minutes in the Galaxy’s 1-0 Reserve League defeat to Real Salt Lake. Dangerous from the outset, fatigue set in late in the first half as the forward was unable to create many chances for a Galaxy attack that struggled throughout.
But the fitness gained in the Reserve League match was a major boost for the rookie forward.
“I have to get my fitness up to par because I have been out for two months,” Zardes said. “To have my second [reserve] game is great. Fitness is the main key.”
With McBean injured, Zardes is expected to contend for minutes up top along with the likes of Jose Villarreal, Charlie Rugg, Robbie Keane, Chandler Hoffman, and Landon Donovan. Fighting for minutes with that distinguished group will be a challenge, but Zardes is eager to prove his worth.
“It sucks Jack got hurt, I take opportunity there is and there is an opportunity available,” Zardes said. “We have players like Jose [Villarreal] and other forwards, but I’m going to work hard and try to establish a role into the team. I really have to work hard in training and get my fitness up because the only thing that I want to do is contribute and help the team get better. ”
CARSON, Calif. – Should Mike Magee be a member of the U.S. National Team? The versatile Galaxy attacker has notched six goals in seven games this season.
During LA’s Time Warner Deportes’ postgame show, former Galaxy and U.S. national team turned analyst Steve Sampson posed the question to LA’s current head coach –and Sampson’s replacement as U.S. national team head coach back in 1998 –Bruce Arena if Magee should be considered for national team duty.
However, Arena was quick to leave the decision to current U.S. National Team boss Jurgen Klinsmann.
“Steve, you and I both know that a national team coach has a lot of pressure and a lot of critics. I think the national team has coach has to make those decisions," Arena said on the broadcast. "Right now, I’m going to relax and let the coach makes all those kind of decisions because as we know, they’re never easy.”
Should Magee be considered for national team duty? Will Klinsmann call up Magee?
Share your thoughts below.
For the first time since March 22, 2009, two LA Galaxy players made their MLS debut in the starting lineup. Forward Charlie Rugg notched a goal and goalkeeper Brian Rowe held a shutout with seven saves as the Galaxy defeated Real Salt Lake 2-0 on Saturday.
Following the match, I wrote a pair of sidebars on the two starters, which you can read below.
I ask the question, however, which player had the best appearance and has the biggest upside?
Share your thoughts below.
Courtesy of RealSaltLake.com, highlights of the LA Galaxy's 1-0 Reserve League defeat to Real Salt Lake.
One thought: the video is at a poor angle, but it looks like goal scorer Sebastian Velasquez may have been offside on the lone goal of the match. LA Assistant coach and Reserve League head coach Curt Onalfo said that he believed Velasquez might have been offside in his postgame comments.
Check it out below...
SANDY, Utah -- The LA Galaxy Reserves fell 1-0 to the Real Salt Lake Reserves on Sunday.
Brian Perk made his first start since undergoing sports hernia surgery on March 16 and put in a solid performance making six saves in the process. LA controlled the game early on, but Real Salt Lake quickly took control of the match and broke through in the 75th minute when midfielder Sebastian Velasquez beat Perk.
Chances were limited for the Galaxy, who struggled to generate offense providing little test for former Galaxy goalkeeper Josh Saunders, who was not called on to make a save. In the 75th minute, John Stertzer forced a turnover and found Velasquez alone on the 'keeper,who slotted it past Perk for the game's only goal.
"I thought our defensive shape was very good for the 75 minutes. We weren't very sharp with the ball in the first half, which forced to have to defend. I thought to start the second half, we were sharper, we kept the ball a little bit better and hit a wall physically towards the end of the game. We need to see the film to see if the goal was offside, but there were three breakaways in a short period of time so those kind of things can't happen," Assistant coach and Reserve League head coach Curt Onalfo told LA Galaxy Insider. "But fatigue played a big part of that, it's just our second reserve game on the road in altitude so that part we have to learn from. We got three academy players [Drew Murphy, Raul Mendiola and Nathan Smith] some valuable experience for them and we're bringing guys along like Gyasi [Zardes] and Kenney Walker back from injury. From that stand point, it's okay, obviously we're disappointed that we didn't get the result, but it's something that we can build on as we to our next reserve game"
LA return to Reserve League action on May 7 against USLPro side Los Angeles Blues at The Home Depot Center.
Below are the highlights to the LA Galaxy's 2-0 victory over Real Salt Lake...
SANDY, Utah – No LA Galaxy player shined brighter than Brian Rowe as the Galaxy sealed a 2-0 victory on the road against Real Salt Lake.
Starting in place of the injured Carlo Cudicini, Rowe made a total of seven saves on the night to seal his first career shutout in his MLS debut.
Below Rowe’s teammates and head coach Bruce Arena address his performance.
ARENA: “He was outstanding. There’s no other way to put it. We obviously felt that, coming into the game, that he’s a good goalkeeper, however he had no experience in the league. You’re always concerned in the first few minutes of the game, but he looked pretty composed right from the start. He had a good save early, and had great concentration to make a bunch of saves throughout the evening. As I said, I thought he was outstanding.”
A.J. DELAGARZA: “It was great. It reminded me of [Brian] Perk when he made his debut against Seattle and he came out with a penalty kick save. [Perk] made some pretty big saves for us and kept in the game and kept us at zero and got his first shutout.”
JUNINHO: “An amazing performance by Bryan Rowe. He’s a great goalkeeper and he’s got a great personality.”
MIKE MAGEE: “I thought Brian Rowe was the best player on the field.”
What are your thoughts about Rowe’s performance?
Share them below.