MLS Cup Preview: After a lifetime of supressing his sexuality, LA Galaxy defender Robbie Rogers is “Coming Out To Play”

comingout

MLSCUP2014For the first 25 years of his life, Robbie Rogers would not admit — even to himself — that he was gay.

And he confided to no one his fears and hopes during a lifetime of denial:

“Why didn’t I speak to anyone — a therapist or anyone?” he wondered during an interview Thursday. “That just shows how afraid I was.”

But today, Rogers has the support of his family, friends and the extended soccer community who encouraged the only active gay athlete in a major U.S. sport not to quit the game. To complete his journey — and that of Landon Donovan — the Galaxy must win Sunday against the New England Revolution in Carson.

“There’s been a lot of things happening outside of soccer and we’ve all supported each other,” he said. “I think it shows on the field.”

“I feel very blessed,” he added. “Now it’s the perfect way to end a perfect yr.”

Read more about how Rogers is “Coming Out To Play” in this story that ran on the front page page today of Los Angeles News Group newspapers.

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Tweets of the Day: The career of LA Galaxy star Landon Donovan by the numbers, meet MLS star Kei Kamara Saturday in Lomita and more

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Video: LA Galaxy Great Robbie Keane named Major League Soccer MVP

MLSMVP(Photo courtesy Major League Soccer).

LA Galaxy leading scorer Robbie Keane was selected as MLS MVP today receiving 32 percent of the media votes and 26 perent of the player votes to win the award ahead of New England’s Lee Nguyn and Seattle’s Obafemi Martins.

Here’s more from the Galaxy press release:

The Galaxy Designated Player recorded career highs in both goals and assists during the 2014 MLS Regular Season. Keane finished with the third-most goals in MLS this season with 19 and was tied for second in assists with 14, giving him the highest combination of goals and assists from any player this season and the most of any player during a single season in club history. In addition to his five game-winning goals, he also led MLS with six game-winning assists. In his 29 appearances for the Galaxy this season, the Galaxy lost only five total matches, going 15-5-9.

Keane, a 2013 MLS MVP Finalist, continued his record regular season campaign into the MLS Cup Playoffs, scoring a goal and adding three assists through the Galaxy’s four matches. His three assists against Salt Lake in the Western Conference Semifinal match made him just the fourth player in Galaxy history to record three assists in a playoff game.

Since joining the Galaxy in 2011, the Irish international has scored 53 goals and added 35 assists in 84 MLS appearances, with 15 game-winning goals and assists apiece. In postseason matches, he has scored eight times and added six assists in just 16 appearances while leading the Galaxy to MLS Cup titles in 2011 and 2012. He has been named to the MLS Best XI three consecutive times and an MLS All-Star for two straight seasons.

Keane joins Carlos Ruiz (2002) and Landon Donovan (2009) as the only players in LA Galaxy history to be named MLS MVP.

While we’re at it, check out the MLS Goal of the Year candidates that includes Robbie Keane:

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MLS Cup Video Notebook: Commish Don Garber says league still losing $100 million a year and more

Check out the latest from this New England Revolution video the club posted on YouTube today.

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Weekly Soccer Column: New England Revolution face uphill battle against history, destiny and LA Galaxy in MLS Cup Sunday in Carson

MLS Best XI

Goalkeeper – Bill Hamid (D.C. United)

Defender – Chad Marshall (Seattle Sounders FC)

Defender – Bobby Boswell (D.C. United)

Defender – Omar Gonzalez (LA Galaxy)

Midfielder – Lee Nguyen (New England Revolution)

Midfielder – Landon Donovan (LA Galaxy)

Midfielder – Diego Valeri (Portland Timbers)

Midfielder – Thierry Henry (New York Red Bulls)

Forward – Robbie Keane (LA Galaxy)

Forward – Bradley Wright-Phillips (New York Red Bulls)

Forward – Obafemi Martins (Seattle Sounders FC)

The stage is set for the LA Galaxy-New England Revolution MLS Cup Sunday in the South Bay in this week’s column.

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Major League Soccer Western Conference Final: LA Galaxy to host MLS Cup in Carson in fitting Landon Donovan career finale after downing SoundersFC in Seattle

Phil Collin has the game story.

Quotable:

“We knew before the game that we needed a goal,” said Galaxy striker Robbie Keane. “Them scoring two goals didn’t really change much to be honest. The only thing it did do is help us come out and attack a bit more. They were creating a hell of a lot of great chances. I think actually in a weird way them scoring two goals helped us.”

Notable:

Since the start of the 2009 season, the LA Galaxy have hosted 14 playoff games in Carson, including MLS Cup 2011 and 2012. In those 14 games, the Galaxy are 12-2-0 and 28-5-1 all-time in home playoff games.

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MLS Playoffs Sunday: Seattle Sounders FC V. LA Galaxy live at 6 pm. on ESPN

The penultimate game of the MLS season is upon us — and potentially Landon Donovan’s last act as a pro before retiring should the Galaxy fail to knock off Seattle and book a home MLS Cup date date against the New England Revolution, victors Saturday over the New York Red Bulls.

Los Angeles News Group MLS beat writer Phil Collin is on the ground in Seattle and filed this game preview.

Here’s the Seattle perspective.

Galaxy player to watch: Stefan Ishizaki.

Are you ready?

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MLS Playoffs: New England defeats New York Red Bulls, awaits winner of LA Galaxy-Seattle Sounders in MLS Cup

If the romantics out there (and MLS suits dreaming of relatively big ratings) wanted a Landon Donovan V. Thierry Henry MLS Cup, the revitalized New England Revolution and their collection of American stars that reflect a nation of immigrants begged to differ Saturday knocking off the highly paid stars from the Big Apple and awaiting the winner of Sunday’s Galaxy-Sounders Western Conference final.

It was apt that $3.6 million Aussie Tim Cahill, among the most highly paid MLS imports, should miss a sitter that had Henry shaking his head on the wing while German-American Jermaine Jones, Vietnamese-American Lee Nguyen (supposedly now on the radar of EPL clubs) and African-American Charlie Davies, five years removed from that crash that almost killed him and wrecked his national team career, all did exactly what they needed to do to reach MLS Cup.

Now, will the Galaxy join them?

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Weekend TV Soccer Preview: MLS Playoffs and English Premier League

MLSfinals

West Bromwich Albion and Arsenal kick of the EPL weekend at 4:45 a.m. on NBCSN, followed by Manchester United-Hull City, but game of the weekend is Manchester City against high-flying Southampton at 5:30 a.m. Sunday on NBCSN

Stats and news on all the EPL games can be found here.

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