GLENDALE, Ariz. — Robbie Rogers continued his road to full fitness on Thursday with a 45 minute shift in the LA Galaxy’s 3-1 defeat to Real Madrid on Thursday at University of Phoenix Stadium.
After missing LA’s last two matches due to a right hamstring strain, Rogers made his return to the field at the start of the second half of Thursday night’s Guinness International Championship Cup match. Although the midfielder was unable to create much against Madrid’s superstars, he was pleased with his chance to return to action.
“It was really good to get back and play a half. It was enjoyable to play against these guys. I was just really happy to play 45 minutes,” said Rogers, who admitted that he was feeling strong after the match. “I would have loved to get a win or a draw, but for me, it’s just about getting minutes to get ready for league.”
The 26-year-old midfielder returned to training late last week after missing LA’s last two games due to a right hamstring strain. The matches were the first that Rogers has missed for LA this season as he has made a total of nine appearances and six starts with a single assist since joining the club in late May.
Following the match, Galaxy head coach Bruce Arena was pleased with the ability to give his midfielder some valuable minutes with LA set to play three matches in eight days.
“Robbie has been out awhile and I think that it was good to get him 45 minutes for him,” Arena told reporters after the match. “We’ve got to keep moving him forward.”
Even though Rogers’ focus on Thursday was returning to full fitness, the 26-year-old midfielder was able to enjoy the experience of testing himself against the Spanish giants.
“It’s interesting to see what these guys do on the field. Actually, it’s a bit inspiring because you take little pieces of what they do on the field,” said Rogers. “You see Ronaldo do something and you think ‘okay, that’s a great idea’ and you try to implement it into the way that you play. They’re the best, so to play games like this is just inspiring.”
As he looks to overcome the injury for good, Rogers believes that he’ll be able to become a consistent contributor to the Galaxy lineup soon.
“Hamstrings are tricky because you think that you’re back healthy and they go again,” said Rogers. “I was happy to make some runs, track back, and do all the things that I could do.”
Adam Serrano is the LA Galaxy Insider. Read his blog at LAGalaxy.com/Insider and contact him at LAGalaxyInsider@Gmail.com