Robbie Rogers: Major League Soccer Reacts
My retweet finger was working overtime on Friday after Robbie Rogers came out thanks to the outpouring of support from his past teammates and competitors. But beyond the Twitter support on Friday there have also been wide ranging posts of encouragement from the Major League Soccer family.
The Columbus Crew, with whom Rogers spent the entirety of his MLS career, released a statement of support yesterday. Former captain Frankie Hejduk, who also played with now-out David Testo, said, “Robbie is and will always be a great friend, a great teammate and a great player to me. I’m fully supportive of anything he decides to do with his future. I wish him the best in the next chapter.”
Robbie Rogers’ current MLS rights are held by the Chicago Fire through a trade along with Dilly Duka for Dominic Oduro. On the Fire website Head Coach Frank Klopas said, “Yesterday I thought he was a very good player and I still think that today. Should Robbie want to return to the game, we would still be open to him being part of the Fire.”
MLSSoccer.com’s Scott French spoke with Colin Clark of the LA Galaxy, who was suspended as a Dynamo player last year for using a gay slur on the field. Clark also played with Rogers on the USMNT for the 2009 Gold Cup and the word he used last year by no means makes him a homophobe: “I’m hoping that [Rogers] paving this path will help others. Not necessarily in MLS, but throughout the world, just coming out and feeling comfortable.” French also spoke with Mike Magee, who gained experience playing with Rogers last summer when he returned to his Southern California home and trained with the Galaxy while on break.
Dave Zeitlin of CSN Philadelphia talked to the Union’s Amobi Okugo and Brian Carroll, who was a teammate of Rogers’ at the crew. Carroll did not know Rogers was gay at the time, but told Zeitlin, “I would love to have him on my team.” Zeitlin also talked with out NWSL player Joanna Lohman currently of the Boston Breakers and formerly of the Philadelphia Independence. Her comparison of out life at home versus abroad is very interesting.
And finally just for good measure, here’s that video again from the Seattle Sounders, featuring two of Rogers’ coaches from the Crew along with teammates from the University of Maryland and the USMNT.