BRIDGEVIEW, Ill. — On a muggy day in Chicagoland, Robbie Rogers appeared to be the only one not affected by the heat and humidity.
In 47 minutes of action filling in for right back Dan Gargan, who was forced to exit due to heat exhaustion, Rogers was one of the lone highlights in a sluggish 1-1 draw between the LA Galaxy and the Chicago Fire. In just his second appearance of the season and the first time in his career that he had manned the right side of defense; Rogers tallied an assist on Landon Donovan’s equalizer.
For a player that has dealt with his share of frustration over the past year, the assist was a ray of hope that the dark times have passed.
“I think just being able to train for three or four weeks and sustaining that kind of workload has really benefited me,” Rogers told reporters after the match. “I think there are tons of things I can improve on and today I thought there were things I could have done better but I was happy to provide Landon with that assist and get a point on the road.”
While the rest of his teammates appeared to wilt in the midday Chicago heat, Rogers enjoyed plenty of success pressing forward as he routinely tested Chicago left back Gonzalo Segares along with providing defensive cover for midfielder Stefan Ishizaki.
But his finest moment came in the 74th minute when he was able to get into the attack before sending a right footed cross toward Donovan, who lashed a near post strike past Chicago goalkeeper Sean Johnson.
“I thought he did well,” said Donovan. “Coming into the game was tough and he hasn’t played in a while so fitness-wise it was going to be tough but I thought he defended pretty well. He made a few good plays and the assist was a really good ball.”
Galaxy head coach Bruce Arena also chimed in noting that Rogers “played very well” in his relief of Gargan.
Despite his strong showing, Rogers refused to allow the match to be called a turning point in his Galaxy tenure. Stating instead that there’s simply too much work left to be done.
“It’s one assist in one game,” He admitted. “ It’s a lot of work that I have ahead of me this season so it’s a positive to contribute in that way and to help defensively but there’s a lot of work to be done.”