Tacoma Defiance defender Sam Rogers has left the team to pursue potential options in Belgium, Sounder at Heart has learned.
The 20-year-old center back left the team two weeks ago with the Sounders’ permission, and there is a report that Belgium team Standard Liege is interested in securing Rogers services that Sounder at Heart was able to confirm.
Sources tell me that Belgian giants Standard Liege have strong interest in Sounders DA and USYNT Center Back Sam Rogers. The 20-year-old, who currently plays for the Sounders’ USL Affiliate the Tacoma Defiance, has made three appearances for the U.S. U-20s. Thoughts?! pic.twitter.com/EPCDD5ZDM4— Eli Lesser (@thisweekinmls) August 4, 2019
When asked about these developments, the Sounders did not dispute that Rogers had left the team and was in Belgium. If the interest from the Belgium side is legitimate, the Sounders appeared inclined to let Rogers go. However, the Sounders would be looking to sell Rogers for a fee, and they dismissed talk of a loan for the player.
Rogers signed with Sounders 2 (now Defiance) on June 13, 2017 and both parties anticipated a fairly rapid move to the Sounders after he passed on an opportunity to attend Villanova on a scholarship. However, injuries, youth national team call-ups and other issues marred his 2018 season, and he played sparingly for the Defiance that year, making 11 appearances in 34 games. He has been mostly healthy this year (12 appearances to date), but the Sounders have recently brought in Ecuadorian center back Xavier Arreaga into the team, potentially complicating Rogers’ path to the first team.
A move to Standard Liege would be pretty significant, as they are one of the biggest teams in Belgium. They’ve won the league 10 times and have been in the top flight every year since 1921, the longest streak in the country.
It would also be a significant move for the Sounders organization, as this would be the first player the Sounders have signed directly from their academy and sold to Europe. It’s believed that any proceeds from the sale would be invested directly back into team. Being as he’s not on a MLS contract, though, it’s not believed that the Sounders would be able to convert any money from the sale into allocation money.