After announcing that he was gay through a blog post in February, Robbie Rogers decided to step away from football.
The American midfielder's announcement made him the first openly gay footballer based in Britain since Justin Fashanu announced he was gay in 1990. On Sunday night, Rogers returned to the beautiful game in the US when he returned to LA Galaxy.
He played the last 13 minutes of Monday's match against Seattle Sounders and completed three passes, one tackle, and had five touches in all.
Rogers made history when he stepped past the white lines and onto the pitch, becoming the first openly gay footballer to play for a US league.
"I guess this is a historic thing, but for me it was just a soccer game," he said.
"No pressure at all coming in," Rogers added, "I got to totally enjoy myself and take it all in."
His team helped lift pressure on his performance as Rogers came onto the pitch when Galaxy were leading by four goals to none. As he ran past team-mate Landon Donovan to take his position, Rogers received an encouraging slap on the back from the American striker.
The crowd of 24,811 people were equally supportive, cheering Rogers loudly and chanting his name as he came on.
About Rogers' return, Donovan commented: "Because of the nature of the way sports has been for so many years - that macho culture that has been embraced by everybody - it's of interest to everybody.
"Now hopefully, the hype about it is over and he can get back to being a soccer player, which is what he wants to do."
Rogers has played football since he was a child and is simply glad to get back to doing what he loves most. About his retirement in February, Rogers stated: "I'm back here, kind of where I'm supposed to be. It's crazy to think I stepped away from this game at 25."
LA Galaxy manager, Bruce Arena, reminded that Rogers will need time to regain full form and fitness. His skills are rusty and people must be patient for a full come-back.
"As a player, he can't be judged tonight or the next couple weeks," Arena said. "It's way too early. He's got a way to go. We'll be patient with him."
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