U.S. Men’s National Team player Robbie Rogers has sensationally retired from soccer and come out as gay on his website.
In the announcement, Rogers says:
Rogers tweeted before posting the blog:
Beautiful out right now.. Too bad I’m feeling blue ;(
— Robbie Rogers (@robbierogers) February 15, 2013
The last team Rogers was with was Stevenage in England. In September he left Leeds United, one of the biggest teams in English soccer. Rogers is perhaps best known for his time in the MLS with Columbus Crew. Rogers appeared 18 times for the U.S. Men’s National Team, playing in the Beijing Olympics in 2008.
Rogers is the first major soccer play to come out since England’s Justin Fashanu in 1990. The move prematurely ended Fashanu’s career and after allegations of rape, Fashanu took his own life in 1998.
In other sports, Wales rugby international Gareth Thomas came out as gay in 2009 after he had retired.
Rogers’ former US team mate Stuart Holden tweeted:
Much love and respect to my boy @robbierogers ! Proud to be your friend bro
— Stuart Holden (@stuholden) February 15, 2013
Rogers hails from Rancho Palos Verde in California, he played soccer for the University of Maryland, when he graduated he moved to the Netherlands to play for Heerenveen 2006. He never made an appearance for the club and returned to the US in 2007 when he joined Columbus Crew in Ohio. Rogers lived in Dublin, Ohio at one point in his teenage years.
Playing primarily as a winger, Rogers played 106 times for Crew, scoring 13 goals. He moved back to Europe in 2012 to play for Leeds United, injury ruined his time there and he only played four times for the team. He canceled his contract with Leeds in January of this year.