LA Galaxy defender Robbie Rogers announces retirement from professional soccer

LA Galaxy defender Robbie Rogers announced today his retirement from professional soccer. Rogers, 30, will end his playing career after over 11 (2006-2017) years of professional experience in Major League Soccer, England and the Netherlands – playing for SC Heerenveen, Columbus Crew SC, Leeds United and the LA Galaxy. Rogers won two MLS Cups (2008, 2014) and two MLS Supporters’ Shield trophies (2008, 2009) and earned MLS All-Star (2008, 2009) and MLS Best XI (2008) honors. Internationally, Rogers represented the U.S. Olympic Team in Beijing in 2008 while making 18 appearances for the U.S. Men’s National Team throughout his career.

“It is with mixed emotions that I announce my retirement from the game of soccer,” said Rogers. “It is through this game that I have experienced some of my greatest achievements both professionally and personally and I am forever indebted to the numerous individuals – coaches, teammates, staff and fans – that have helped me during this journey. I want to personally thank Mr. Anschutz, Dan Beckerman and the entire AEG family for the opportunities and continual support they have given me during my time with the LA Galaxy. I would like to thank Bruce Arena for encouraging me to return to professional soccer after I came out as a gay man. I’d also like to thank all of my LA Galaxy teammates for accepting me from the first day I stepped back into the locker room at StubHub Center. Finally, I’d like to thank the fans for their continued support throughout my career. I’ll never forget the feeling of returning to the field in my first game back. That feeling of acceptance and support pushed me as an athlete and as a person. Having the opportunity to win an MLS Cup in my hometown, with my hometown club as an openly gay man will be something I will carry with me for the rest of my life. I will remain deeply connected to this sport and its surrounding community. I leave the game full of pride of what I have accomplished as a person and a player. I am looking forward to the next chapter of my life.”

After beginning his career in Holland with SC Heerenveen in 2006, Rogers moved to Columbus Crew SC with Sigi Schmid in 2007. Rogers joined the LA Galaxy in 2013 after a stint in England, playing for Leeds United and Stevenage FC. While with the LA Galaxy, he made 78 MLS Regular Season appearances and 11 postseason appearances, including starting in the 2014 MLS Cup Final, a 2-1 victory over the New England Revolution. He will finish his MLS career with 184 appearances in the regular season and 20 postseason appearances across his time with the Galaxy and Crew SC.

“Robbie Rogers has been an integral part of our club and our community since he joined the LA Galaxy in 2013,” said Chris Klein, LA Galaxy President. “During his time in Los Angeles, Robbie has been an elite athlete and a good teammate. He helped lead our club to a championship in 2014 while breaking barriers and being a force for positive change in our sport and in our community. We want to thank Robbie for his time with the LA Galaxy and wish him the best of luck in the next step of his career.”

Internationally, Rogers recorded 18 international caps with the USMNT. He has also represented the U.S. extensively at the U-23, U-20, U-18 and U-17 levels. In 2008, he was a member of the U.S. Olympic Team that competed in Beijing, China, starting in all three Olympic matches for the U.S. In 2007, Rogers competed at the U-20 World Cup in Canada, helping the U.S. to an impressive 3-1-1 record in a five-game run to the quarterfinals.

Collegiately, he spent one year at the University of Maryland and led the Terrapins to the 2005 NCAA championship. That year, he started 20 of the 22 matches in which he saw action, scoring seven goals and registering five assists. Rogers earned honorable mention on the SoccerTimes.com Men’s All-American team. He was also named to the ACC All-Conference Freshman team, Top Drawer Soccer Rookie Team of the Year, Soccer America All-Freshman second team and College Soccer News All-Freshmen third team.

Rogers became the first openly-gay male athlete to compete in a top North American professional sports league when he played his first match for the Galaxy in 2013. Since coming out as gay, Rogers was inducted into the National Gay and Lesbian Sports Hall of Fame.

Rogers currently resides in Los Angeles with his fiancé, Greg Berlanti, and their son, Caleb.

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