Robbie Rogers, the only openly gay player in Major League Soccer, has ended this season on a high note, as his Los Angeles Galaxy won the MLS cup today with a 2-1 victory over the New England Revolution.
“This MLS Cup is for so many people my teammates, family and friends. The fans obviously and for everyone that thought it would never be possible. Thank you #LAGalaxy,” Rogers posted on his Facebook page. The win makes the Rogers “the first publicly out male athlete to win a big-time team pro sports title in the United States,” Outsports notes.
The Galaxy won on a goal scored by Robbie Keane in overtime, in the 111th minute of play, ESPN reports. This was the Galaxy’s fifth MLS title and a fitting end to the career of team member Landon Donovan, playing his final pro soccer game.
It also was a fitting end to Rogers’s season, notes Outsports. He was injured early in the season, and his playing suffered until he moved from midfield to fullback. “There he blossomed,” the site reports. “He grabbed hold of a starting spot and never let go.”
Rogers was part of another MLS Cup winner, the Columbus Crew, in 2008, but he was not publicly out then. “He is at the top of his game now finally playing as an openly gay man, sharing his true self with his friends, family, teammates and the world,” Outsports observes.
He was replaced during overtime in the championship game but “contributed throughout the 90 minutes of regulation,” the site reports, concluding, “Anyone with reservations about an openly gay man negatively affecting a team because of his sexual orientation was quieted today. Rogers is the first publicly out male athlete to win a big-time team pro sports title in the United States, but he will not be the last.”
Rogers, 27, signed a multiyear contract extension with the Galaxy this year. He has been with the team since May 2013.