CARSON, Calif. – It was like something straight out of Hollywood.
Robbie Rogers scored his first goal in an LA Galaxy uniform with his extended family and friends in the stands as the club celebrated Pride Night. After scoring the third goal in Wednesday’s 5-0 Galaxy rout of the Portland Timbers, Rogers was understandably emotional about getting on the score sheet.
“I didn’t think I was going to be so emotional and I didn’t think it was going to have the impact that it did have on me, so it was a great way to cap off tonight,” said Rogers who was all smiles after his first goal. “Tonight’s obviously Pride Night so it’s special and I think that’s why it was more emotional because I know there were a lot of people that had never been to the stadium before like my family, my boyfriend, his friends and a lot of people from West Hollywood.”
The goal was made all the sweeter given the how close Rogers has come to scoring in the past with the Galaxy. Whether it was his chance cleared off the line in the opening minutes of MLS Cup or his miss from close range against the Columbus Crew, Rogers has come agonizingly close to finding the back of the net on multiple occasions.
The breakthrough finally happened in the 33rd minute when Robbie Keane delivered a perfectly weighted pass that caught Portland’s Alvas Powell out of position. With his defender beaten, Rogers curled a right-footed shot past Timbers goalkeeper Adam Kwarasey.
“I could see [Powell] was trying to gamble and get to Robbie, so that’s where I delayed it for a second,” Keane said. “So for him, it was the right thing what he did the first time, because the keeper wasn’t even set. As you saw, he was just running out and then before I knew it, it was in the back of the net. So congratulations to Robbie, we’ll be expecting him to score a few more. It’s great for him.”
Added Rogers, “It was a great pass from Robbie [Keane] and I just ran... Robbie [Keane] and the goalkeeper made it easy for me. I just saw him come out and he probably thought I would take a touch and that’s why he started sprinting at me, so I decided to first-time hit it.”
But for all the joy surrounding his goal, Rogers also understood what his goal meant to the members of the LGBT community in attendance.
“When I’m playing, obviously I’m playing for the Galaxy, these guys, my family and most importantly, myself, but I also feel like I’m playing for those in the LGBT community,” Rogers said. “Sometimes it has been tough for me and I’ve felt the pressure and from the moments like this and the [2014 MLS Cup] Championship, I never expected for me to find that pride or to be proud of coming from a community that doesn’t really have a huge footprint in sports. To be a part of it… It’s a special moment.”