Robbie Rogers

Robbie Rogers lauds Thomas Hitzlsperger's courage after former German int'l reveals sexuality | SIDELINE

LA Galaxy midfielder Robbie Rogers made headlines worldwide last February when he briefly retired from soccer after announcing he is gay, and then again in May when he made his return to the game — and Major League Soccer — after being traded to the Galaxy.

Rogers made his coming out announcement via a blog post on his own website. This week, the 26-year-old has again taken to the Internet, penning his thoughts on The Guardian's website about a footballer who, during his teenage years, Rogers recalls admiring greatly as a player — one who joined Rogers in coming out as gay this week.

Thomas Hitzlsperger played for clubs like Aston Villa, Stuttgart and and West Ham United, among others, during his 13-year professional career. He announced his retirement from soccer in September. And not a single person who watched him play — Rogers included, as he admits — ever had any inclination about his sexuality.

"At that point in my life I already knew I was gay, but I really thought I was the only football player in the world who was. I could never have imagined that Thomas was gay, too, but it would have made a world of difference to me if I had known," Rogers opined in his Guardian feature.

MLS has had an openly gay player competing in its league since May 26, 2013, so how much longer until Europe can say the same thing? Is Hitzlsperger announcement one step closer to that becoming a reality?


Stay connected: Get access to breaking news, videos, and analysis from North America's best soccer reporters via "This Week in MLS" newsletter or using our FREE mobile app.