Ex-Columbus Crew midfielder Robbie Rogers prepared for emotional match against his former club

02 July 6:01 pm

Ex-Columbus Crew midfielder Robbie Rogers prepared for emotional match against his former club

By Adam Serrano

CARSON, Calif. – Thursday’s match against the Columbus Crew will be a special one for Robbie Rogers, who will take on his old team for the very first time.

A mainstay in Columbus from 2007 to 2011, Rogers helped the Crew win the MLS Cup in 2008 and consecutive Supporters’ Shields in 2008 and 2009. During that time, Rogers became one of the league’s brightest stars as he was named to the MLS Best XI in 2008 and nearly made the U.S. roster for the 2010 World Cup.

Shortly after the 2011 season, Rogers completed a move to Leeds United that set in motion a two-year stint in England that included a brief stop at League One side Stevenage.  On Thursday, he’ll face his old club as a member of the LA Galaxy after the club acquired his rights from the Chicago Fire in May.

“It should be interesting. I played for so long and, obviously, I never played against them. That will be a little different to be in the other kit,” said Rogers who has exchanged texts with several current Crew players and members of the coaching staff. “Playing against Columbus at StubHub Center will be a little strange for me at first, but I’m desperate to get three points, so I don’t care who I’m playing against.”

As he prepares to take on his old club, Rogers is still trying to find his way with the Galaxy as he has made a total of seven appearances in all competitions and has started the last three regular season matches for LA.

During those three starts, Rogers has become steadily more involved in the Galaxy attack with seven shots in those appearances. Despite his chances, he has yet to score his first goal in an LA uniform, but came maddeningly close during last Saturday’s 3-2 defeat to the San Jose Earthquakes.  

 “It’s annoying. I had some chances in the first half and one in the second half; we created so many chances especially in the end of the game. It’s the soccer gods, you got to finish one of those [chances] or they might punish you,” said Rogers. “I just need to really be sharp in the final third. Defensively, I feel like I’m doing better. I just need to put one away and it helps the team out.”

As he looks to find the back of the net for the first time, Galaxy captain Robbie Keane has already tabbed Rogers for a big week with LA playing their second of three games in eight days. 

“I’ve said it before, it takes four or five games to get completely match fit,” said Keane of the midfielder’s performance. “I think that this week will help. Playing Sunday, Thursday, and again on Sunday. I think this will be a big week for him.”