Robbie Rogers’ soccer departure may be short-lived. The openly gay American soccer player wants to return to MLS. The holdup is not his sexuality, but a labor dispute. MLS is a collective. Players play for the clubs but sign contracts with the league. In 2011, Rogers left the Columbus Crew and MLS as a free agent to join Leeds United. However, due to an arcane MLS rule, Columbus retained Rogers’ “allocation rights.”
Columbus traded those rights to Rogers to the Chicago Fire. Rogers is at present a free agent, unless he enters MLS world. If he signs a contract with the league, he has to go to Chicago. Rogers is from LA. He has been training with the LA Galaxy. He wants to go there to be closer to his family. The question is how much the Galaxy would be willing to give up to get him.
Surely, MLS wants Rogers back. It’s positive publicity. It’s also a league that cannot turn down a talented midfielder. That said, orchestrating a favor that benefits the league’s equivalent of the Yankees would not be a popular sell.
Betting, we would guess Mr. Rogers is holding up an LA Galaxy jersey at some point within the next few weeks.
[Photo via USA Today Sports]