LA Galaxy Insider Year in Review: Robbie Rogers
Now that the 2013 season is over, LA Galaxy Insider Adam Serrano will look back on the season for every player who was on the club’s roster at some point during the season.
The LA Galaxy Insider Year in Review will begin with players who made the least number of appearances for the club in all official competitions over the course of the year, starting with Brian Perk and Bryan Gaul, who did not make any appearances for the first team this year, and concluding with midfielder Marcelo Sarvas who played in a team-best 42 games for LA this year. There will also be an evaluation of head coach and general manager Bruce Arena and his moves at the conclusion of the list.
We will have one or two evaluations per day and focus on what each player did well and what challenges they faced in 2013 as well as a select thought from the player on their performance and an overall assessment of their season from myself.
APPEARANCES IN ALL OFFICIAL COMPETITIONS FOR THE GALAXY: GP: 16 (11 in MLS Regular Season, two in MLS Cup Playoffs, two in CONCACAF Champions League and one in U.S. Open Cup); GS: 10 (Seven in MLS regular season, two in MLS Cup Playoffs, one in CONCACAF Champions League); G: 0; A: 1 (in MLS regular season play)
APPERANCES IN GUINNESS INTERNATIONAL CHAMPIONS CUP: GP: 3
RESERVE LEAGUE APPEARANCES: GP: 2; GS: 2
HIGHLIGHTS: The year will undoubtedly go down as a memorable one for Robbie Rogers as the 26-year-old made international headlines in January 2013 when he revealed that he was gay and subsequently stepped away from the sport. However, his time away was short lived as he began training with the LA Galaxy three months later. He officially joined the club on May 25 when LA acquired his MLS rights from the Chicago Fire before restarting his professional career a day later with his Galaxy debut against Seattle Sounders FC. Although Rogers took several weeks to return to full fitness, by mid-June he had locked down a place in LA’s starting XI as he made six consecutive starts for the club from June 19-July 13, tallying an assist during the Galaxy’s 2-0 victory over FC Dallas on July 7. One of Rogers’ best performances came in one of the team’s most difficult games of year as he came off the bench in the second half in LA’s 4-0 CCL defeat to Isidro Metapán and created a number of quality scoring chances for his side. The performance earned Rogers three consecutive starts to end the Galaxy’s campaign as he started the regular season finale in Seattle and both legs of the Western Conference Semifinals against Real Salt Lake.
CHALLENGES: Although Robbie Rogers made strides in his first season with the LA Galaxy, he was never able to maintain the form that made him a U.S. international just two short years ago. At times, the midfielder was able to display the type of speed and passing ability that made him a star in MLS, but these moments were sandwiched in-between inconsistent service and a lack of sharpness in the final third that several times extinguished Galaxy attacks. Unfortunately for Rogers, the most glaring example of this came during LA’s Western Conference Semifinal second leg against Real Salt Lake when he rattled off five shots during his 75 minutes of action, but was unable to give the Galaxy the goal they needed to progress in the postseason. Fitness was also a major challenge for Rogers as the midfielder struggled with a series of injuries in 2013. Most significantly were a nagging left hamstring strain and a stomach infection that limited the midfielder to just one appearance in all competitions from mid-July until mid-October.
HIS THOUGHTS: “Emotionally, it’s been a roller coaster. It’s been amazing to be back with the Galaxy, I mean with the option they’ve given me and how supportive the guys have been in the locker room has been something that a year ago I could never have imagined. Without being too hard on myself and disappointed with the result at the end of the season, I think if I would look back at this time last year, I more than exceeded my expectations for overcoming mostly that fear of thinking that I could be an athlete and I could be gay at the same time. Now, hopefully I can just move forward and just be a soccer player.”
OVERVIEW: It was an incredible year for Robbie Rogers from a personal level, however, now the 26-year-old midfielder must provide the type of dependable form that the Galaxy expected from him when he was acquired in May. During his first season, he showed flashes of the Rogers of old, but consistency eluded him as he was unable to have a profound impact in the attack on a consistent basis. Fitness played a major role in these struggles as he battled through multiple injuries during his first season with LA, and as he looks ahead to 2014, Rogers is hoping to put those issues behind him. There’s no doubt that Rogers has the type of speed and technical savvy to be a major contributor for the Galaxy, but the 26-year-old must be more consistent to make an impact next season.
POLL: How would you rate Robbie Rogers’ 2013 season with the Galaxy?
Adam Serrano is the LA Galaxy Insider. Read his blog at LAGalaxy.com/insider and contact him at LAGalaxyInsider@Gmail.com