Entries in Major League Soccer (2)


Robbie Rogers Joins LA Galaxy, Becomes First Openly Gay MLS Player

Michael Tran/FilmMagic(LOS ANGELES) -- Soccer player Robbie Rogers came out of a short-lived retirement Saturday to join the Los Angeles Galaxy, becoming the first openly gay player in Major League Soccer.

The 26-year-old midfielder, who briefly walked away from the sport in February after coming out in a letter he posted online, said he was “excited” to return to the game.

“It doesn’t matter that I’m gay or where I’m from,” he said at a news conference Saturday.

Rogers, who played on the United States national team and was a professional soccer player in England, said he had received support from family, fans and players, including Galaxy star Landon Donovan.

“I know I’m very motivated and I want to be better than I was before,” he said. “I want to prove to everyone in this room and everyone in this world that I’m a great footballer, a great soccer player.

“It doesn’t matter that I’m gay,” he said. ” That’s not important.”

Rogers’ return to the game comes on the heels of NBA center Jason Collins becoming the first openly gay men’s professional basketball player.

In a recent interview with Nightline, Rogers said he hid his sexuality all his life so he could fit in with the “macho, macho man” world of soccer.

“Because it’s sports. It’s the stereotype that you’re supposed to be this manly guy that is making tackles. It’s beating up on other guys,” he said, while he was still contemplating a return to professional soccer.

“Gay athletes are athletes,” he said in the Nightline interview. “If I go back to soccer, I want to go back as Robbie. I just want it to be as simple as that.”

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio


'Soccer Dad' Obama Honors MLS Champs

Official White House Photo by Pete Souza(WASHINGTON) -- President Obama welcomed the Colorado Rapids to the White House Monday to congratulate them for their Major League Soccer championship and to thank them, as a soccer dad, for showing kids how it’s done.
“I have watched my share of games over the years. And I’m used to seeing everybody gather around the ball, and then it kind of pops out somewhere, and everybody runs over to the ball,” said the president, who sometimes coaches his daughter Sasha’s soccer team.
Obama went on to congratulate the Rapids for having come so far since their days on the Little League soccer field. “I’m sure your parents were thinking the same thing -- that these guys can’t play,” he said.
The president highlighted the Rapids’ amazing comeback. After having the second-worst record in last year’s playoff, they came back this year to win it all. “They showed up in close games, they clawed back from behind. They just kept on winning. And when the clock ran out, the Rapids were the best team in American soccer,” he said.
Obama also lauded the team’s diversity, referring to them as a “mini-United Nations.” Members of the team hail from Argentina, England, France, Ireland, Jamaica, Japan, Scotland, and Senegal.
The president singled out player Kosuke Komura for delivering a motivating speech to the team the night before the championship. “I understand that he made a very inspiring speech to the team, but it was in Japanese, so nobody really understood what he was saying, but it was really inspirational, was what I heard,” he joked.
Finally, Obama praised the team for their charity work. “These aren’t just good players, they’re also good people,” the president explained.
The Rapids brought their community spirit to the White House Monday, hosting an afternoon soccer clinic for children of military families on the South Lawn. “You will make their summer and you will make their parents happier when they actually know what to do on the soccer field,” Obama said.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

ABC News Radio