Thursday is turning out to be a big day for Galaxy defender Robbie Rogers. And not just because his new book, “Coming Out to Play,” will be officially released Thursday night in West Hollywood.
Even bigger perhaps is the fact the Galaxy has re-signed Rogers to a multiyear contract. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.
Rogers, a former U.S. national team midfielder, made headlines in the winter of 2013 when he publicly came out as gay while playing in England, a personal struggle Rogers will detail in his book.
Shortly after that he returned home to Southern California and began training with the Galaxy, who eventually retained the rights to sign him by trading popular forward Mike Magee to the Chicago Fire.
In May of 2013, Rogers entered a game with the Seattle Sounders as a second-half substitute, making him the first acknowledged gay male athlete to play in one of the country’s five major professional sports.
The rest of the season wasn’t as memorable, though. While Magee went on to become Major League Soccer’s MVP, Rogers struggled with injury and personal issues, playing in just 11 games and collecting one assist.
“The whole season was difficult,” Rogers said. “From the beginning, not being fit. And then injuries. It was difficult. It was. But it really builds character I think.”
This year, after moving to the back line midway into the season, the 27-year-old has seen his career reinvigorated. He has played in 19 games, starting 15 of them; and the Galaxy has lost just twice in games Rogers has played. That spurt has helped the team reach the Western Conference finals. That two-game series with the Sounders begins Nov. 23 at the StubHub Center.
And as for the move from midfield to outside back, Rogers is all for it.
“I love it. I feel very comfortable,” he said. “I hope I can play there the rest of my career.”
On Thursday, the Galaxy took steps to insure that career lasts at least two more seasons.