CARSON, Calif. – Robbie Rogers is well aware that because of his sexual orientation that there is going to be scrutiny and possibly a few hateful comments, but he’s ready.
During his unveiling as a member of the LA Galaxy after a trade that sent Mike Magee to the Chicago Fire in exchange for Rogers, the 26-year-old talked at length about his move to LA and his place as the first openly gay professional athlete. Although Rogers has received an outpouring of support from the sporting world, he knows that there will be bumpy moments that he intends to meet in stride.
“Our society is changing. Obviously there are a lot of people who are still behind and are not willing to accept the fact that there are gay women and men out there that don’t have a choice. I was created this way,” said Rogers. “I just those people voice their opinion, this is the United States, and they can say whatever they want. In the end, I’ll still love them; I’ll still give them a hug if they want one. But I think it is inevitable that everyone will accept that this is just part of life.”
Rogers was also asked about New York City FC owner and United Arab Emirates deputy prime minister Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed al Nahyan, who has drawn criticism for his nation’s stance on homosexuality. The 26-year-old admitted that he’d love an opportunity to sit down with the owner of NYCFC to have an open discussion and show him just how normal that he truly is.
“If I could invite him to sit down and have some coffee with me sometime then I’d love to speak with him and hear his ideas and his beliefs and share mine as well as well because it’s a discussion,” Rogers said. “What message would I send to him, I wouldn’t send him a message, I would just open a conversation with him…I don’t know what he thinks that gay men are supposed to be like, I’m sure there are stereotypes that we live up to or that we are so I guess I would just offer an invitation to sit with him and to have a discussion with him. I think that’s the important to show him that I’m a lot like the other athletes that he owns.”
CARSON, Calif. -- Robbie Rogers may make his LA Galaxy debut on Sunday in the team's match against Seattle Sounders FC, if the club receives his International Transfer Certificate in time.
LA Galaxy head coach Bruce Arena told reporters on Saturday that if the club receives Rogers' ITC then he will be placed into the club's 18-man roster. Rogers is already hopeful that he'll be on the squad against Seattle.
"I expect to be in the 18, but I don't know," said Rogers. "I don't expect one way or the other. I just really want us to win."
AC Milan, Everton, Valencia, and Chelsea join as the field is filled for the Guinness International Champions Cup
The field for the Guinness International Champions Cup has been filled.
The LA Galaxy will be joined by AC Milan (Italy), Valencia (Spain), Everton, and Chelsea (Both England), the organizers of the tournament announced on Saturday. Inter Milan, Juventus, the Galaxy and Real Madrid were announced as participants in April.
CARSON, Calif. – Robbie Rogers knows that he has big shoes to fill.
After being traded to the Galaxy in a deal that sent fan favorite Mike Magee to the Chicago Fire, Rogers must deal with the pressure of replacing the club’s former leading goal scorer.
During his 10 appearances with the Galaxy in MLS regular season play, Magee notched six goals, but he’ll now be taking his talents to his native Chicago. As Rogers looks to replace Magee’s production, he views the expectations as just another challenge.
“As a professional player, there’s always pressure. Mike is a great friend of mine and a great soccer player and I would love to play with him because he makes the game easy for everyone,” Rogers said. “I know that I’m very motivated to prove myself and I want to be better than I was before. I don’t want to be the last cut for the World Cup team; I want to be on the World Cup.
“I want to prove to everyone in this room and everyone in this world that I’m a great footballer, a great soccer player. It doesn’t matter that I’m gay or where I’m from so that’s not important,” said Rogers. “I’m very motivated and really excited because I think that this is going to be a great challenge for me.”
And as for what he’d say to Galaxy fans still skeptical or even upset about the deal?
“They want to win. It’s great for them, those are the ones that [my sexual orientation] isn’t a big deal to them,” Rogers said. “I applaud them because it’s not a big deal for them that I’m a gay athlete. All I can say to them is that I hope to be better and I hope to be an exciting player to watch, so I’m excited for that challenge to win them over.”
Former LA Galaxy midfielder Mike Magee penned a letter to Galaxy fans following his trade to the Chicago Fire.
In his letter, Magee thanks Galaxy fans, staff and the club for his tenure with the club.
Read the letter here: A letter from Mike Magee
CARSON, Calif. -- It's official.
The LA Galaxy have acquired Robbie Rogers from the Chicago Fire in exchange for Mike Magee. Rogers will be eligible to participate upon the receipt of his International Transfer Certificate and could be available for Sunday's match against Seattle Sounders FC.
Galaxy captain Robbie Keane offered his thoughts on the deal.
"I think that everybody is sad to see Mikey go because he’s a top player and a great person to have around. He’s good for the locker room, so he’s certainly going to be missed by everybody, but you have to respect somebody’s decision that for family reasons, he wants to go back home. We wish him well and hope that he can have as much success there as he had with the Galaxy. We got another player Robbie, who has trained with us the last couple of weeks and has great qualities so he’s going to be a great addition to the squad."
— Adam Serrano (@LAGalaxyInsider) May 25, 2013
The world's biggest club match will take place this afternoon at Wembley Stadium in London when Bayern Munich takes on Borussia Dortmund.
LA Galaxy Technical Director Jovan Kirovski was on the last Dortmund side that won the Champions League and offers his thoughts on the match here. Meanwhile, LA Galaxy forward Robbie Keane offered his own prediction on the match below.
"It's going to be a good game, I like watching Borussia Dortmund. They're a good side with a lot of energy and very attacking minded," said Keane. "However, if there was probably money on it, I'd probably say Bayern Munich, but you shouldn't be putting money on it, you shouldn't be betting."
The newly acquired player, LA head coach Bruce Arena, and Galaxy President Chris Klein will all be present for the press conference.
This advisory comes amid reports from multiple outlets including Soccer By Ives and The Washington Post that the LA Galaxy have traded Mike Magee for Robbie Rogers, who according to the USA Today has signed a deal with the Galaxy.
I'll be on the scene tomorrow.
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Robbie Rogers is a member of the LA Galaxy according to a report in the USA Today.
Sources tell the USA Today that Rogers has agreed to terms with the Galaxy, but they do not specify what LA dealt to the Chicago Fire in exchange for his rights.
The complete report can be found here: Rogers coming back as first openly gay player in MLS
LAGalaxy.com videographer Paolo Ferrari has provided this video preview of the LA Galaxy's match against Seattle Sounders FC.
Check it out below...