CARSON, Calif. – It’s not exactly like old times for the LA Galaxy’s Robbie Rogers, but it’s getting there.
The 26-year-old midfielder made his first regular season start in MLS in almost two years on Wednesday in the LA’s 0-0 draw with the Portland Timbers in front of 23,675 at StubHub Center and said he felt generally pleased with his performance. Rogers played just under 70 minutes before being replaced by Colin Clark and later said he felt he could have played even a little longer.
HIGHLIGHTS: LA vs Portland
“Things are slowly coming back,” he said.
It was on May 25 when the Galaxy acquired the rights to Rogers, who had been training with the two-time defending MLS Cup champions for two weeks, from Chicago in a trade which sent the popular Mike Magee to the Fire. The next day, Rogers made his Galaxy debut, playing the final 13 minutes of a 4-0 victory over Seattle Sounders FC.
He’s gradually seen more playing time as his fitness improves, and Rogers said he felt “flashes” of his old self against the Timbers. But he also cautioned it will take more time before he’s 100 percent match-fit.
He was deeply appreciative of the getting the start, however.
“It felt good to have a proper start, to get back out there. And to be out there from the beginning,” he said. “I still think I have a long ways to go, but there were flashes where I was getting my legs back and I was moving quite well at times.
“That’s good to see after putting in a lot of hard work.”
WATCH: Rogers makes Galaxy debut vs Seattle
Rogers, who said he felt more nervous in his first appearance with the Galaxy compared to Wednesday night’s game, admitted he was especially eager to get to StubHub Center on Wednesday, knowing he was making his first regular season start since he went 82 minutes for his former MLS team, the Columbus Crew, in a 2-1 loss to Kansas City on Sept. 28, 2011.
Rogers said he’s not ready to go the full 90 minutes just yet, but it won’t be long before he is.
“Probably two more games to really get flying around and not be worrying about my fitness,” he said. “Actually I felt pretty good in the second half. I actually felt I could have played a little longer, which surprised me.
“I still have a lot of hard work ahead of me to really get fit, 100 percent. To see the improvement I’m slowly making week by week in the games, it’s great for me to feel like the hard work is going somewhere.
“I’m excited for the next game (Sunday against Chivas USA) and I’m excited to move on the following week.
“I hope I get another chance.”