L.A. Galaxy defender Robbie Rogers is retiring his 11-year career at age 30, Rogers and L.A. Galaxy announced on Tuesday.
Rogers kicked off his college soccer career playing for the University of Maryland Terrapins. He went on to play professionally with SC Heerenveen in 2006 and then joined the MLS with the Columbus Crew in 2007. He came out as gay in 2013 after leaving the English club Leeds. He retired briefly before joining L.A. Galaxy.
He became the first openly gay male athlete to compete in an American professional sport. His retirement leaves no more out male players in American professional team sports.
“I’d also like to thank all of my LA Galaxy teammates for accepting me from the first day I stepped back into the locker room at StubHub Center,” Rogers said in a statement. “Finally, I’d like to thank the fans for their continued support throughout my career. I’ll never forget the feeling of returning to the field in my first game back. That feeling of acceptance and support pushed me as an athlete and as a person. Having the opportunity to win an MLS Cup in my hometown, with my hometown club as an openly gay man will be something I will carry with me for the rest of my life.”
Rogers, who recently starred in an ad campaign for Target, suffered an ankle injury last year that took him out of the 2017 season.