On Tuesday, Robbie Rogers, LA Galaxy defender, announced his retirement from soccer at the age of 30, after missing the entire season this year due to ankle injury.
In a statement, Rogers said, “It is with mixed emotions that I announce my retirement from the game of soccer. 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.”
For the first time, Rogers quit the game back in 2013 before making announcement that he was gay but soon he returned to the game. “I would like to thank Bruce Arena for encouraging me to return to professional soccer after I came out as a gay man. I’d also like to thank all of my LA Galaxy team-mates for accepting me from the first day I stepped back into the locker room at StubHub Center.”, Roger said.
He added, “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.”
In an Instagram post, Rogers wrote, “My only regret in my 11-year career are the years I spent in the closet. I wish I could have found the courage that so many young individuals have shared with me in the past five years to live honestly and openly as a gay person. These are the young people that inspired me to overcome my fears and return to playing.”
“Lastly to all of the women and men who are still frightened to share their truth with the world, I’d encourage you to come out. By sharing who you are you will not only be improving your own life but inspiring and literally saving the lives of young people across the world. You deserve to take that same walk, down the players tunnel and have your own partner or loved ones waiting for you. Again thank you to everyone who watched or help me follow these dreams. I could never have imagined the happiness I’ll take with me into retirement and into my next chapter.”., he added.
Rogers scored fifteen goals in 184 career MLS games with LA Galaxy and the Columbus CrewInternationally, he won 18 senior caps with United States Men’s National Soccer Team, 2 MLS Supporters Shield trophies in the years 2008 and 2009 and league championships in 2008 and 2014.