Openly gay Robbie Rogers returning to professional soccer

May 25, 2013 at 12:31 AM

LOS ANGELES, May 25 (UPI) -- Robbie Rogers, who came out as homosexual when he announced his retirement from soccer, tells USA Today he has decided to return to the field.

Rogers said he made the decision last month while he was speaking at the Nike Be True LGBT Youth Forum in Portland, Ore.

"I seriously felt like a coward," he said. "These kids are standing up for themselves and changing the world, and I'm 25, I have a platform and a voice to be a role model. How much of a coward was I to not step up to the plate?"

USA Today said it had learned from two people familiar with the negotiations Rogers and the Los Angeles Galaxy have reached an agreement. That would make him the first openly gay player in Major League Soccer in the United States.

Rogers, who was on the U.S. team for the 2010 World Cup, hopes to repeat that in 2014.

A high school and club star, Rogers played for a year with the University of Maryland Terrapins before turning pro. He joined Eredivisie in the Netherlands and went on to the Columbus Crew in the United States and Leeds United in England.

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