Skip to content

The dramatically swift arc of the Robbie Rogers story

May 27, 2013, 3:40 PM EDT

Seattle Sounders v Los Angeles Galaxy Getty Images

At breakfast this morning, I mentioned writing about Robbie Rogers today.

Someone asked when the media would turn its collective gaze from this story? When would Rogers begin to be nothing more than Robbie Rogers the soccer player, not Robbie Rogers the history maker, the first openly gay male athlete in U.S. pro sports?

The answer, I think, is: about right now. And it underscores a bigger point:

The arc of this Robbie Rogers story has been dramatic – and pleasingly so. Even Rogers is now wondering “What was the big deal all along?”

After this weekend, the arc will be more or less complete. Yes, there will be some local media mentions as Rogers makes the subsequent stops for road matches; trips into Boston, Salt Lake City and San Francisco await in June.

And the national media might drag out the reigning narrative just a little longer.

But that’s pretty much it.

Consider how quickly this one rose and fell as a “talker” in our game, the entire thing playing out in just over three months. Here’s the basic Rogers’ timeline:

  • Feb. 15: Rogers stuns us all, announcing on his own blog that he is gay … and that he is retiring. An overwhelming show of support from the U.S. Soccer community greets the news. Rogers is touched, but still seems far, far from any notion of returning to the game.
  • March 29: The New York Times’ Sam Borden is among the first to get Rogers to talk publicly about it all. Rogers says if he returns to soccer that it will almost certainly be in MLS. So … returning to soccer might be in the plans, eh?
  • April 30: Rogers surprisingly turns up,  already training with the Galaxy; his MLS rights still belong to the Chicago Fire, but the possibility of a return to soccer suddenly becomes quite real. For now, it’s just training, however.
  • May 5: Rogers tells myself and Soccer Today co-host Marc Stein that he will only play in Los Angeles.  No offense to Chicago, he says, but the California native wants to be close to his family, his support network. He also says there “is a really good chance” of playing in MLS this year.
  • Friday, May 24: The trade with Chicago that gets Rogers where he wants to be is complete. All that lacks for the left winger to make his Galaxy debut is arrival of his international transfer certificate.
  • Sunday, May 27: History is made as Rogers comes on for the final 13 minutes in a Galaxy match that had long since been decided.

And just like that, Rogers had made history, retired, made headlines through publicly speaking about it all, emerged from the premature retirement and then made history again.

The Galaxy travel for a U.S. Open Cup match this week, then have five MLS matches in June, some of which will be without Irish striker Robbie Keane. And who knows when / if Landon Donovan might get that inevitable call back into the Jurgen Klinsmann’s national team.

So now we can begin, I believe, to pivot on the ruling narrative. What can Robbie Rogers, the quick left winger, do for the MLS champs as they make their way forward in title defense?

Latest Posts
  1. VIDEO: Diouf dribbles for miles, nutmegs Hart to upend City 1-0

    Aug 30, 2014, 12:19 PM EDT

    Manchester City v Stoke City - Premier League Getty Images

    Mame Biram Diouf is back from Germany, and the Senegalese forward has already scored a Premier League goal in exhilarating fashion.

  2. Watch Live: Everton vs. Chelsea (Lineups)

    Aug 30, 2014, 12:11 PM EDT

    tim_howard Getty Images

    Watch Everton and Chelsea clash, right here.

  3. Queens Park Rangers 1-0 Sunderland: Austin helps QPR get three points

    Aug 30, 2014, 12:06 PM EDT

    Queens Park Rangers v Sunderland - Premier League Getty Images

    One goal does not an exciting game make, but Harry Redknapp will be content to snare his first three points of the year.

  4. Manchester City 0-1 Stoke City: Diouf’s dribble springs upset

    Aug 30, 2014, 11:59 AM EDT

    Manchester City v Stoke City - Premier League Getty Images

    Mame Biram Diouf’s dazzling run through Man City was the moment, but Stoke won the match with defense.

  5. Swansea City 3-0 West Bromwich Albion: Dyer’s double sends Swans top

    Aug 30, 2014, 11:59 AM EDT

    Swansea City v West Bromwich Albion - Premier League Getty Images

    Swansea flying after third-straight win to start the season.

  6. Newcastle United 3-3 Crystal Palace: Zaha hands Warnock dream comeback

    Aug 30, 2014, 11:57 AM EDT

    Newcastle United v Crystal Palace - Premier League Getty Images

    Remember the name Rolando Aarons, as the 18-year-old Jamaican-born Englishman starred in leading Newcastle back.

  7. West Ham United 1-3 Southampton: Stylish Saints bag first win of the season

    Aug 30, 2014, 11:52 AM EDT

    West Ham United v Southampton - Premier League Getty Images

    Schneiderlin double hands Saints their first win of the PL season.

  8. LIVE – Half time update: QPR, Swansea ahead, Stoke holding Man City

    Aug 30, 2014, 11:02 AM EDT

    Manchester City v Sporting Kansas City Getty Images

    All the action from a frantic first half. Watch the 2nd half live, right here.

  9. West Ham officially adds Alex Song on loan from Barcelona

    Aug 30, 2014, 10:12 AM EDT

    ?????

    The long-time Arsenal midfielder is returning to both London and the Premier League.

  10. Burnley 0-0 Manchester United: Sloppy Utd overshadows Di Maria debut

    Aug 30, 2014, 9:40 AM EDT

    Burnley v Manchester United - Premier League Getty Images

    The Premier League got its first taste of what Di Maria can do when he served an absolutely gorgeous 50-yd ball to a streaking van Persie.

  11. Watch Live: Swansea City vs. West Bromwich Albion (Lineups)

    Aug 30, 2014, 9:13 AM EDT

    Monk Getty Images

    Can the Swans win three on the spin to the start the season? Watch their game against West Brom live, right here.

  12. Watch Live: Queens Park Rangers vs. Sunderland (Lineups)

    Aug 30, 2014, 9:12 AM EDT

    Queens Park Rangers' Park challenges Sunderland's Larsson during their English Premier League soccer match in London Reuters

    Jozy Altidore is on the bench for Sunderland, but the bigger striker news is that Chelsea target Loic Remy is not on the bench for QPR.

  13. Watch Live: Newcastle United vs. Crystal Palace (Lineups)

    Aug 30, 2014, 9:08 AM EDT

    Newcastle left it til late, but finally found a winner courtesy of Papiss Cisse. Getty Images

    The newest England call-up and ‘Ginger Pirlo’ Jack Colback will join a dangerous NUFC unit that sees Remy Cabella, Moussa Sissoko and Siem de Jong in the mix.

  14. Watch Live: West Ham United vs. Southampton (Lineups)

    Aug 30, 2014, 9:08 AM EDT

    Southampton v West Bromwich Albion - Premier League Getty Images

    Can Saints grab their first win the season away from home against West Ham? Watch live, here.

  15. Watch Live: Manchester City vs. Stoke City (Lineups)

    Aug 30, 2014, 9:04 AM EDT

    Britain Soccer Premier League AP

    Bacary Sagna makes the lineup for City, who will start Sergio Aguero and Stevan Jovetic up top.

  16. Report: Loic Remy heading from QPR to Chelsea in $13 million move

    Aug 30, 2014, 8:43 AM EDT

    Queens Park Rangers v Hull City - Premier League Getty Images

    Mourinho will remember Remy’s Man of the Match performance for Newcastle United in a 2-0 win over Chelsea at St. James Park last season.

  17. Report: US, Bayern Munich starlet Julian Green to join Hamburg on loan

    Aug 30, 2014, 8:26 AM EDT

    Brazil Soccer WCup Belgium US AP

    According to reports in Germany, Green, 19, heading to Hamburg for the 2014-15 season.

  18. Report: Ajax accepts $23 mil Daley Blind bid from Manchester United

    Aug 30, 2014, 7:20 AM EDT

    Netherlands' Daley Blind, center, celebrates with Bruno Martins Indi, right, after scoring his side's second goal during the World Cup third-place soccer match between Brazil and the Netherlands at the Estadio Nacional in Brasilia, Brazil, Saturday, July 12, 2014. (AP Photo/Manu Fernandez) AP

    Don’t mind Louis van Gaal: he’s just setting Manchester United up to immediately contend.

  19. Watch Live: Burnley vs. Manchester United (Lineups)

    Aug 30, 2014, 7:07 AM EDT

    10633046555_cbefbc577e_z

    It’ll be a big day at Turf Moor regardless of result, as it’ll mark Louis van Gaal’s first Premier League win or Burnley’s first PL point.

Featured video

Breaking down Di Maria, Balotelli deals