Sport Trailblazer Robbie Rogers retires from professional soccer

00:51  08 november  2017
00:51  08 november  2017 Source:   Goal.com

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LA Galaxy defender Robbie Rogers , who became the first openly gay athlete to compete in North American men’s professional sports, has hung up his boots. “It is with mixed emotions that I announce my retirement from the game of soccer ,” Rogers said in a statement.

Trailblazer Robbie Rogers retires from professional soccer .

LA Galaxy and former U.S. international Robbie Rogers has announced his retirement.

The 30-year-old defender spent 11 years in the game, with stops at Dutch side SC Heerenveen, English club Leeds United and the Columbus Crew and LA Galaxy of MLS.

“It is with mixed emotions that I announce my retirement from the game of soccer,” Rogers said in a statement. “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.”

Rogers is perhaps best known for coming out as the first openly gay athlete in a North American men’s professional league when he first played for the Galaxy in 2013. In his statement, he thanked former Galaxy coach Bruce Arena for encouraging him to return to the field after coming out, along with those who accepted him along the way.

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Trailblazer Robbie Rogers retires from professional soccer . Next article

“I would like to thank Bruce Arena for encouraging me to return to professional soccer after I came out as a gay man,” Rogers said. “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.”

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Rogers would go on to win and MLS Cup in 2014 with the Galaxy, to go along with the one he won in 2008 as a member of the Crew. Unfortunately, nerve damage in his ankle kept Rogers off the field for most of the 2017 as he featured in just one contest, playing for the Galaxy II in the USL.

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Trailblazer Robbie Rogers retires from professional soccer .

Yes, Robbie Rogers has officially un- retired and will become the first openly gay male North American athlete to take the field in one of the “big five” sports. Playing alongside superstar and friend Landon Donovan, and coached by former USA men’s national soccer team helmsman Bruce Arena

He was also on the roster for a pair of Gold Cup runners-up with the U.S. in 2009 and 2011, starting five games in the 2009 tournament.

Rogers was inducted into the National Gay and Lesbian Sports Hall of Fame in 2015.

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