Originally posted on Fox Sports West  |  Last updated 2/15/13

CARSON, CA - APRIL 05: Robbie Rogers #19 of the Columbus Crew warms up prior to the MLS match against Chivas USA at The Home Depot Center on April 5, 2009 in Carson, California. Chivas USA defeated the Crew 3-2. (Photo by Victor Decolongon/Getty Images)
Robbie Rogers, a former winger with the US national team who played prep soccer at Mater Dei, said Friday he was stepping away from the sport after revealing that he is gay. In the final analysis, Rogers said he had to choose between being himself and being a soccer player. He chose to be himself. "I always thought I could hide this secret," Rogers, 25, wrote in a powerful post on his blog. "Football was my escape, my purpose, my identity. Football hid my secret, gave me more joy than I could ever have imagined . . . "Now is my time to step away. It's time to discover myself away from football." Rogers played for two US age-group national teams and was called up to the senior team in 2008 during qualifying for the World Cup. He appeared in 18 games for the US, scoring twice. He also played for Heerenveen of the Dutch Eredivisie, the Columbus Crew of Major League Soccer where he was named to the MLS' First XI in 2008 and Leeds United of English soccer's second-division Championship. Most recently he was on loan to England's Stevenage of the tier-three League One, where he appeared in nine matches. After Rogers' blog post which he said was written at 1 a.m. in London was published, social media lit up with messages of support and congratulation. "Much love and respect for you," tweeted US teammate Herculez Gomez, a sentiment echoed by DC United's Chris Pontius. Women's national team star Abby Wambach, Juan Agudelo of Chivas USA and Galaxy defender Omar Gonzalez also weighed in. "Couldn't be happier for you!" wrote Wambach. Eddie Pope, a three-time World Cup player for the US added: "Brave men like you will make it so that one day there's no need for an announcement. That day can't arrive soon enough." In his blog Rogers says he will "step away" from soccer but doesn't say for how long nor does he specifically mention retirement. No active US player in a major professional team sport has continued to play after coming out as gay. Most recently, soccer player David Testo, then playing for the second-tier Montreal Impact, came out shortly after his contract expired following the 2011 season and that effectively ended his career with no other team stepping up to offer to sign him. Kevin Baxter
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Twitter, Facebook report engagement decline during Super Bowl

Steve Spurrier becomes special assistant to South Carolina AD

Brent Musberger wants you to bet on Joe Lunardi’s bracketology

Unranked Duke uses big first half to beat No.13 Louisville

MLB reportedly close to rule preventing collisions at second base

USOC says athletes concern about Zika shouldn't attend Games

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Von Miller shares support for embattled Johnny Manziel

The Panthers had to use a silent snap count at the Super Bowl

Report: Lakers would fire Byron Scott to hire Luke Walton

Was Alain Vigneault right about NHL's lack of punishment towards Wayne Simmonds?

Seahawks’ Frank Clark rips Cam Newton ‘that boy a b—‘

Report: Tom Thibodeau has 'always wanted' Knicks job

Daniel Bryan says goodbye to WWE during teary retirement speech

Paul George delivers great line about driving by Kobe Bryant

WATCH: Oklahoma beats Texas on Buddy Hield's 3-pointer

Andre Drummond hits 70-foot buzzer beater to end 3rd quarter

Duke's Allen appears to intentionally trip Louisville's Spaulding

Candidates for New York Knicks head coaching job

Attorney alleges Johnny Manziel ruptured ex-girlfriend's eardrum

Jeanie Buss may clean house in Lakers’ front office

Lisa Ann wants to reward Emmanuel Sanders for Super Bowl win

WWE Superstar Daniel Bryan to announce retirement

Nine best and worst players from 2015 NFL playoffs

Rodman wants Phil Jackson to know he’s ready to coach Knicks

Wade Phillips trolls Cam Newton with dabbing tweet

All Sports News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Was Alain Vigneault right about NHL's lack of punishment towards Wayne Simmonds?

Report: Knicks fire coach Derek Fisher

The best and worst commercials from Super Bowl 50

Best and worst from Super Bowl 50

Six best plays from Super Bowl 50

Eli doesn't look thrilled as Peyton wins Super Bowl

Did Beyonce almost fall down during Super Bowl halftime show?

Curry to serve as drummer for Panthers

Report: Marshawn Lynch plans to retire

The 14 biggest plays in Super Bowl history

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker