In February, Robbie Rogers made waves when he announced that he was gay and would be stepping away from professional soccer. Now, he could be on the verge of making history.
Rogers is the subject of trade talks between Major League Soccer’s L.A. Galaxy and Chicago Fire. The Galaxy are hoping to acquire his rights, which would pave the way for his return to professional soccer and MLS, FOX Soccer reports.
“The Galaxy is officially interested in getting his rights, in having the right to sign him,” Fire president of soccer operations Javier Leon said Tuesday. “We’re going to have a conversation with them about what it would take to consider giving up on a player that we feel strongly would be a starter on our team.
“If at this moment the Galaxy are going to say they want him, we would expect to get a similar value. Therefore we will speak to them and we’ll listen to what they have to stay.”
Rogers is out of contract and has been practicing with the Galaxy in recent weeks, which suggests he is considering making a comeback. He reportedly would only consider playing in Los Angeles so he can be close to his hometown and family.
The 26-year-old most recently played in England with Leeds United and Stevenage. Prior to that, he starred in MLS with the Columbus Crew, where he was part of teams that captured the MLS Cup in 2008 and the MLS Supporters’ Shield in 2009. He also played 18 games for the U.S. national team between 2009-11. Columbus traded Rogers’ MLS rights to Chicago in February (before his announcement), meaning the Galaxy must work out a deal with the Fire in order to acquire him.
NBA veteran Jason Collins revealed his homosexuality in April, but he is a free agent and not currently on a roster. If Rogers returns to the field with the Galaxy, he would become the first openly gay male professional athlete to play a major team sport in North America.