CARSON, Calif. – Robbie Rogers was left off of the LA Galaxy game day roster in last week’s 3-3 draw with FC Dallas, but ahead of this Saturday’s match against Real Salt Lake, he’s determined to be at the forefront of head coach Bruce Arena’s plans.
The Dallas draw was the third straight league game that Rogers had missed, but while he missed the home win over Vancouver and the road loss to Colorado in late July with a hamstring injury, Bruce Arena declared that it was a coach’s decision to sit Rogers on Sunday against the Hoops. To date, Rogers has made 13 appearances—nine of those have come in MLS— for the Galaxy since joining the team in late-May after the Galaxy acquired his rights from the Chicago Fire.
“It was my decision not to have him in the 18,” said Arena on Wednesday. “It was my decision for that game. I thought the players that we dressed were the right choice for that game.”
Not being able to suit up against Dallas was a shock for Rogers, who had started against AC Milan just days earlier in the Guinness International Champions Cup Third Place Match in Miami.
“I thought I played well against Juventus and Real Madrid, but AC Milan wasn’t my strongest game. I think that Bruce just wanted to refocus and switch things around a little bit ,” said Rogers, who admitted that he had a conversation with Arena about improving “the little things” after his game against Milan and is planning to speak to the head coach again this week. “I’ll work hard this week and try to help the team this weekend.”
Where Rogers readily admits that he needs to improve is in the final third. So far, Rogers has tallied just a single assist in league since joining the Galaxy, but has come agonizingly close multiple times to finding the back of the net, including on a pair of occasions against Juventus at Dodger Stadium.
“I just want to get a little sharper in the final third. [That] is the biggest thing that I need to work on,” Rogers said. “It’s just about being confident. Sometimes I feel great like I did in the Juventus game, but I need to do that all the time.”
With substantial action in his plans for Saturday’s match, Rogers believes that his experience in the stands against Dallas may have lit a fire under him.
“Definitely. You always feel that way as a professional, but you don’t want to be left off the 18 no matter what the reason is,” he said. “You do your best, you can’t control some things, but you just have to work your ass off.”
Adam Serrano is the LA Galaxy Insider. Read his blog at LAGalaxy.com/Insider and contact him at LAGalaxyInsider@Gmail.com