Fire sends Robbie Rogers’ rights to Galaxy, gets Mike Magee
BY SETH GRUEN For Sun-Times Media May 25, 2013 7:19PM
FILE - In this Nov. 14, 2009 file photo, Robbie Rogers, of the United States, eyes the ball during a friendly soccer match against Slovakia in Bratislava, Slovakia. Rogers is joining the Los Angeles Galaxy of Major League Soccer in another step by gay athletes. Rogers tells The Associated Press his fears about returning to soccer were eased by the support he received from family, fans and players, including Galaxy star Landon Donovan. (AP Photo/Petr David Josek, File)
Updated: June 28, 2013 6:29AM
American midfielder Robbie Rogers signed a contract with the Los Angeles Galaxy, making him the first openly gay player in league history.
The Galaxy announced the signing Saturday after acquiring Rogers’ MLS rights from the Fire, which received midfielder Mike Magee and other considerations. Magee is tied for second in the league with six goals.
Magee wasn’t available Saturday, when the visiting Fire (2-7-2) tied Real Salt Lake 1-1. The Fire’s Quincy Amarikwa scored in the 84th minute to tie it.
The Fire initially acquired Rogers’ rights in a February trade with the Columbus Crew that also brought Dilly Duka. Shortly after the deal, Rogers announced he was gay and was retiring.
Since then, Rogers expressed a desire to play in his hometown of Los Angeles.
“For me, it’s all about allowing everyone to play with the same sort of comfort, and I think for him to do what he’s done is brave,” Fire midfielder Jeff Larentowicz said.
“I hope that people can use him as an example, an example of positivity. I think most people in that situation are afraid of the reaction they’re going to get, and I think Robbie has received a pretty positive reaction.”
Rogers, 26, is also part of the United States national-team pool. He’s regarded as one of the most talented American midfielders.
The feeling around MLS is Rogers will flourish on the field having made his announcement.
“Now he’s playing without anything hanging over his shoulder,” Fire president of soccer operations Javier Leon said.