Originally posted on Midwest Sports Fans  |  Last updated 5/25/13

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 already has a soccer pedigree that would indicate he can be part of helping Major League Soccer take the next steps towards becoming a mainstream U.S. spectator sport. Rogers played a significant part in winning a national championship in college and won an MLS championship with the Columbus Crew a few years ago. MLS is in desperate need of a jolt to put more attention on the league. In the American sports scene, the MLS tends to get lost in the shuffle.  Its not one of the best soccer leagues in the world and many American soccer fans won’t settle for it. Especially without David Beckham, the League is floundering some. Rogers can bring some glamour back that went out when Beckham left. An openly-gay player scoring goals and excelling in the league could be compelling sports news that no other American sports league will offer. Jason Collins is a bench player if he makes a team next season in the NBA. Rogers will likely soon be in the starting 11 for the premier glamour team in the MLS, the Los Angeles Galaxy. Why would a gay player create interest and is the interest only within the gay community? The excitement would be in seeing somebody different possibly dominating a skilled, aggressive male team sport. The intrigue surpasses just the gay community, as the masses would want to see that too. If Rogers can play well and propel the Galaxy to more titles, he may be the answer the League is currently looking for. He could become the poster boy for the MLS. Even his facial resemblance to Beckham is a little eerie. He doesn’t have the classic Beckham set play ability, but he is only in his mid-twenties and has time to improve his game. Also, Rogers’ charisma will surely develop as the cameras stay on him and endorsements come in. Major League Soccer has searched for so long (almost 20 years) for an American identity. It has been an uphill battle for the MLS trying to combat the omnipresence of better soccer leagues around the world and the dominance of baseball, football and basketball in America. There are still skeptics out there wondering how solid the League is. It would be ironic if a gay player to helped carry the league.  But, Rogers has come along and now maybe the MLS can find an American niche. The post Robbie Rogers: Can openly gay player spark interest for Major League Soccer? appeared first on Midwest Sports Fans.
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