Robbie Rogers sat down with the Washington Blade to discuss his recent hamstring injury and being Major League Soccer’s first openly gay player.
Washington Blade: You suffered a right hamstring injury at the end of July and then tweaked your left hamstring in a match on Aug. 20. How is the rehab going?
Robbie Rogers: I am just battling to get back to full health and it is going to take a few more weeks. Hopefully, this weekend I can start running again. The injuries are part of being a professional athlete. You have these setbacks that you just have to battle through. It is unfortunate and frustrating, but it’s something that athletes always go through during their careers. It’s part of the job.
Blade: The fans of Major League Soccer are notoriously vocal. How have the Galaxy fans been treating you?
Rogers: The Galaxy fans have been very supportive since day one and they are some of the best fans in the league. At the home games, you can really feel their presence. I have really enjoyed my time here in L.A.
Blade: You reached out to Galaxy coach Bruce Arena when you decided to come out of retirement. Coach Arena has had a long and successful career. Were you more drawn to the opportunity to work with him or to just be a part of the Galaxy team?
Rogers: I was most interested in being a part of the soccer environment again. Working with Bruce and being a part of Galaxy was definitely in the back of my mind, but it was mostly about getting back to soccer.
Blade: The Sept. 14 DC United vs. LA Galaxy match just happens to be on the night of the annual LGBT event, United Night Out. Have you been surprised that there are so many enthusiastic LGBT soccer fans?
Rogers: Yeah, I was actually pretty surprised. Growing up in soccer you don’t feel like that exists; in fact it is quite the opposite. It is really nice when I travel around the country or even playing at home in the StubHub Center to have that support.
Blade: You played college soccer at the University of Maryland. What is it like coming back into the area again as a professional athlete? Did you play at RFK when you were with the Columbus Crew?
Rogers: Yes, I played at RFK a bunch of times with the Crew and I have also been back to College Park since I started my professional career. I always enjoy coming back to the area and I have really great memories from the University of Maryland and winning the NCAA Championship. It is really special for me when I come back to the D.C. area.