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Sam Rogers joins OKC Energy FC

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The former Tacoma Defiance CB is staying in the USL for now.

Defiance, sam rogers Charis Wilson / Sounders FC Communications

Following a trial with MLS newcomers Austin FC, Sam Rogers has found his new club. OKC Energy FC announced on Tuesday that Rogers had signed with the USL-Championship team.

Rogers joins an OKC team that will be competing in the Central Division where they’ll compete with independent clubs like Louisville City FC and Indy Eleven, as well MLS second teams such as Atlanta United II and Sporting Kansas City II, as they attempt to improve on their 2020 season which saw them finish at the bottom of their group with the fourth-lowest points per game (0.63) in the league.

This move for Rogers comes after the previously mentioned trial with an MLS side, as well as a couple of possible moves that would have seen the 21-year-old jump to Europe. First in the summer of 2019 he went to Belgium to trial with Standard Liege, where he seemed to impress the staff but failed to catch on before returning to Tacoma to finish out the season. Then last season Rogers again traveled to Europe for what was reported as a trial with Spanish second division side CD Leganes. It appeared as though the signing of a pre-contract was imminent, which would have seen Rogers join the club in the Winter transfer window on a free, but nothing ever materialized. It’s entirely possible that that particular move could have been impacted by the wide-reaching complications of the ongoing global pandemic. More recently, he was believed to be in Sweden but no firm reports ever surfaced.

Rogers was undeniably a leader on the field with Tacoma during his time with the club. A strong passer with the size and speed that made him a force to be reckoned with, he accumulated more 5,000 minutes in 66 professional appearances within the Seattle Sounders organization. A product of the Sounders Academy and a regular participant in the US youth national team setup, Rogers still has plenty of upside and promise, but injuries and other off-field challenges have somewhat slowed his ascent. Hopefully for him OKC will provide a strong platform for him to showcase his talents.

The move to join OKC will keep Rogers in the USL Championship, where he joins a growing contingent of former Sounders Academy and Defiance players in the league. With the Energy he’s likely to be reunited with former S2 teammate Ray Saari, who isn’t currently listed on the team’s roster as he returns from injury. San Antonio FC has Justin Dhillon; joined by Shandon Hopeau on loan; Sean Okoli is with Austin Bold FC; while Phoenix Rising FC now has Seyi Adekoya; Darwin Jones plays for Orange County SC; and Blake Malone is on loan to USL League One side Union Omaho from Orange County.