Former Leeds footballer who came out as gay in February may return to play in the US

Illustrated rainbow pride flag on a white background.

Former Leeds United footballer Robbie Rogers, who came out as gay in February shortly after retiring from the sport, may return to play, as he resumes training with a US team.

The 25-year-old has returned to football for the first time since he came out as gay in February, and despite that Chicago Fire still holds the midfielder’s registration, Rogers returned to training this week with LA Galaxy.

The head coach at LA Galaxy, Bruce Arena, said the length of Rogers’ stay was undetermined at present.

“There’s a good chance that I might come back to [football] but I need a few months to chill out, hang out with my family, go surf in California, just relax,” Rodgers said in an interview CNN.

Coach for Chicago Fire Frank Klopas has acknowledged the return to training, but said there was no discussion over a possible trade with David Beckham’s former team LA Galaxy.

He went on to say that he supported Rogers’ return to the sport, saying: “Before he came out and his decision we made that move because we believe Robbie Rogers is a very good player, knowing that he would probably at some point leave his team in England. That hasn’t changed.”

“It’s great that he’s back into it. He’s a young man with a lot of years left and it’s something he loves doing. You can never get that back when its past. His home is in LA and he went to go back and play and I think that’s great news,” continued the  statement, posted on the Fire website.

Before joining Leeds United in 2012, Rogers played for the Columbus Crew for five seasons, going on to win the MLS Cup in 2008.

The 25-year-old went public about his sexuality in a post on his personal website in February. He since explained in an interview, his reasons why coming out as gay meant he had to retire immediately as a professional footballer.

The issue of coming out in professional sport is particularly topical in the US at present. Yesterday, NBA star Jason Collins spoke about his sexuality, confirming he is gay in an article to Sports Illustrated magazine. He said: “I’m a 34-year-old NBA center. I’m black. And I’m gay.