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If you thought an openly gay athlete could have no more surprises, pick up a copy of Robbie Rogers’ memoir Coming Out to Play this week and prepare to be surprised.
Starting early on in the opening chapters, Rogers tells a very personal story. This is not just the “athlete in the closet” story that one might expect, but it’s also a portrait of his family and their ups and downs throughout his young life. It’s also the story of a rising soccer star beyond the issues of his sexuality and the decisions that a player viewed as a young phenomenon must make. When it comes to this time in his life I would have been interested in hearing more about his time at the University of Maryland and playing with other current MLS stars like Maurice Edu and Graham Zusi.
Ultimately this is a story of a man who spent his life masking his sexuality and the process he took to reveal his whole self to the world. There are many stories about Rogers self-censoring his language, monitoring his behavior with friends and family, and doing with women what his peers expected him to be doing with women. “Heartbreaking” doesn’t begin to describe some of these moments, and anyone who has been in the closet will be able to identify with much of what Rogers went through.
Robbie Rogers was once again named to the Major League Soccer Team of the Week after a great performance against Dallas, stoking the fire that he deserves a callup to the US Men’s National Team.
Team Captain Robbie Keane gave a glowing assessment of Rogers’ move to a defensive position to LAGalaxy.com following the team’s weekend victory over FC Dallas:
He’s a player who’s grown in stature in that position. I think you’re looking at probably the best left back in the league. Certainly no question about that.
If (U.S. national team coach Jurgen) Klinsmann is watching the games no question he should be looked at. He’s been brilliant. That’s how much he’s come on.
Schedule-wise it’s difficult seeing when Rogers would join the National Team again, with the next pair of stateside matches coming so close to the MLS playoffs. Bruce Arena will be reticent to let too many of his players leave LA when there very well could be a Supporters Shield and prime playoff position on the line.
Rogers hasn’t had a National Team cap since 2011. It was a year that included him being a part of Klinsmann’s first roster and scoring a goal against Mexico in that friendly match. His international resume also includes an appearance at the 2008 Beijing Olympics.
All things considered maybe that headline should read, “Robbie Rogers, National Team Ready.”
We’re in the thick of the MLS All Star Game Week here in Portland, and the league, team, and city continue to put on quite the show for the fans.
The atmosphere has not gone unnoticed, with players both at the pregame press conference and at training at Providence Park lauding Portland’s soccer-friendly culture and the passion of its fans. Even when the result is a rain of boos when they come as a member of an opposing team.
It’s also a bit of a reunion for some of the players, with so many of Major League Soccer’s US Men’s National Team players represented here so soon after their stint together at the World Cup in Brazil. That added chemistry could be a factor Wednesday night that gives this All Star Game a different look than those in years past.
It should be another great All Star Game along with the rest of the week’s festivities.
It’s MLS All Star Game week and G4S is here for all of the action–events both at Providence Park and all around town. One benefit of being in Portland this week is getting to see the Thorns take on the Houston Dash in a 1-0 victory.
Beyond it being a great home victory in front of the home crowd, the game was a record-setter for attendance, the 19,123 fans in Providence Park setting an NWSL record. It was an incredible experience to witness, with the Rose City Riveters leading the stadium in amazingly raucous cheers.
If the rest of the country follows the lead of teams like the Portland Thorns, women’s professional soccer has a bright future in this country.
Editor’s note: When the LA Galaxy played the Carolina Railhawks in the Lamar Hunt US Open Cup in June, Robbie Rogers was not the only gay soccer player in the stadium. Former college player Stephen Bickford was on hand to watch, and had some reflections on watching Rogers play.
A year has passed and we’re back to where we started. The Railhawks hosted the Los Angeles Galaxy in the US Open cup for the third consecutive year, and I come to you with another article about the Galaxy’s openly gay player, Robbie Rogers. This year, the result was the same in two ways. The Railhawks won, and Rogers gave a good account of himself.
However, there’s far more depth to this year’s Robbie Rogers than the Rogers who was playing in his first road game for his new club last season. Robbie Rogers has shown a lot to fans, pundits, his teammates, and his coach this past year. He was able to come out from under the weight of being “America’s first openly gay athlete in a major professional sport.” And he has handle the pressure and celebrity that have come from it with incredible courage, strength, humility and grace.
The ESPN Body Issue of their magazine hits newsstands this week, and for the sixth year running, they have brought us some of our favorite soccer stars stripped down. The LA Galaxy’s Omar Gonzalez and Seattle Reign’s Megan Rapinoe (both members of their respective national teams) bring the tally of soccer players the magazine has featured to over a dozen. Few sports have been featured annually; not even baseball and hockey have made it in every year since the tradition began in 2009. Let’s look back at all of the pics from the start until this week’s issue.
World Cup break is over! And first up we want to share the You Can Play Project’s latest video, celebrating the world’s sport this World Cup season.
The video is a great testament to soccer as a sport that can be played by the rich or the poor. It can be played indoors or outdoors on any type of terrain. It doesn’t matter if you are straight or gay. All that matters is “If you can play, you can play.”
Thank you to everyone who used this time to make a pledge to the You Can Play Project. You’ll be receiving emails soon with your totals. If you didn’t get a chance to pledge, it’s not too late to donate to their great work. Videos like this only scratch the surface of what they do, with so much behind the scenes help to athletes happening all the time.
You can make a gift to You Can Play at their website.
- Only one goal was scored in the Washington Spirit’s victory over the Chicago Red Stars midweek. Lori Lindsey played most of the match, and her pressure helped ensure the shutout.
- Also in midweek action, two first-half goals led to the Boston Breakers being shut out by FC Kansas City. Lianne Sanderson captained the team for a full 90 minutes.
- The shutouts in NWSL continued over the weekend with a 5-0 walloping of the Portland Thorns at the hands of the Western New York Flash. Meleana Shim was a first half sub.
- Finally it was a 1-1 draw for the LA Galaxy against Chivas USA. After an outstanding performance on the road in Chicago, Robbie Rogers earned a spot in the starting lineup and played for the full 90 minutes in his new home at right back.
For the second year the New England Revolution supporters groups Midnight Riders and Rebellion will be marking Boston Pride at Gillette Stadium.
Things get started Sunday night before the Revs’ match against the New York Red Bulls where the groups will be selling Pride gear before the match with proceeds going to the New England advocacy group Gay and Lesbian Advocates and Defenders.
The festivities continue on Saturday the 14th as the supporters groups march in the Boston Pride Parade for the first time ever. The Midnight Riders and Rebellion will be joined by members of the New England Revolution staff for the march past some of Boston’s major landmarks. It will be the first time a pro sports franchise participates in the event, one of the oldest and biggest in the nation.
“The Midnight Riders have been looking forward to this year’s Pride events since our first successful celebration last May,” said Midnight Riders president Fran Harrington. “We believe that soccer is for everybody, and we’re excited to demonstrate that with our involvement in Pride Night at the Revolution game and at the Parade in Boston the following weekend.”
Detroit City FC will be kicking off Motor City Pride with a Friday night match that will be supporting the LGBT community both nationally and locally.
Detroit City is partnering with the You Can Play Project on the match in which the players will be wearing special kits just for the occasion. It very well could be the first time in the United States a sports team’s uniforms have been dedicated to the cause.
The match day uniforms will be auctioned off after the game with proceeds benefiting the Ruth Ellis Center, a local residential facility specializing in at-risk LGBTQ youth who have run away from home, are homeless, or otherwise at risk. Jerseys with the Pride Night design will also be available for purchase on the team’s website also to benefit the REC.
The club has already said that the match against the Erie Admirals has ticket sales that are already outpacing their last match which was a sellout. Pride nights are both a great show of support but also a great ticket sales booster!
Ticket sales for Friday’s match are outpacing sales for our last match, which sold out. Don’t miss it! http://t.co/NaiM0Wr8Kn (fixed link)
— Detroit City FC (@DetroitCityFC) June 4, 2014