Robbie Rogers returns to training, Sounders among interested teams

Otto Greule Jr

One of the notes in the Sports Illustrated cover story about Jason Collins coming out was the status of former MLS Best XI winger Robbie Rogers "unretiring." Today he trained in full with the LA Galaxy. At least three teams are interested in his services.

When Jason Collins decided to come out it was a bigger story than the Robbie Rogers news just a couple months ago. The NBA is a bigger deal than MLS. That's the way of things. Rogers also announced that he was stepping away from the game. Collins intends to play next year. That may be changing though. Somewhat hidden in the Collins story was this nugget;

"It was just your typical day when you speak to the president and Oprah," he cracked. "Truthfully, this whole experience has been humbling and kind of overwhelming. What I'm doing has been done before in sports. There have been lots of other pioneers. I'm obviously the first to come out in this country in one of the four major pro sports -- basketball, baseball, football, hockey. But some people would put soccer up there, too, and Robbie Rogers has already blazed a trail there. I'm just trying to live my life authentically."

The recently retired and now recently unretired Rogers, who phoned Collins yesterday while driving to a Los Angeles Galaxy tryout, said, "It feels a little weird to congratulate you for being honest."

Today, pictures of Robbie Rogers training with the LA Galaxy appeared on their official instagram account. Rogers lives in LA, but his MLS rights are held by the Chicago Fire after they traded Dominic Oduro for Dilly Duka and Robbie's rights. Rogers did not take well to that concept.

The Chicago Fire would still like the former USMNT player to play for them. He is training with LA. Former Coach Sigi Schmid is also interested in the services of the one time MLS great.

"I know he feels much happier now that he's been able to express himself and I hope his comeback goes well," Schmid said after Tuesday's practice. "I hope he doesn't play for the Galaxy. I'd rather see him play for us, but I think his rights belong to Chicago."

Sigi and Rogers go back - way back. According to Sigi back to when Rogers was 9. Now nearly 26, Rogers had a very successful run while with Schmid and the Columbus Crew.

"When he played for me in 2008 he was Best XI. There's not a lot of Best XI wingers that are out there that are still... Robbie right now is 26, he's an '87. There's not that many guys at that age with that ability," Schmid said. "He's got CAPs. He's got experiences at the international level. He's played in the under 20s. He's played in the Olympics. He's been involved in qualifying matches. There's always a need and room for a player like that of that quality."

That quality is a 2008 Best XI, All Star, four of five years in the Playoffs, appearances in the US Open Cup and CONCACAF Champions League. And working his way up the the United States National Team ladder. His first goal for the USMNT was in the 2009 Gold Cup match at a place then called Qwest Field.

As Sigi said, Chicago holds his rights. He also said that there is always a place for a player of that quality.

When asked directly if Seattle would be contacting Chicago his answer was short. "I don't think it's at that stage yet, but we'll see."

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