When Bruce Arena was named the new manager of the US Men’s National Team, we immediately started getting questions about the inclusion of out gay professional soccer player Robbie Rogers on that team.
Rogers certainly has a shot. Mathew Doyle of MLSSoccer.com has put together his prediction for the January camp roster, and he included Rogers in his projection.
Rogers was on the USMNT from 2009 to 2011. He appeared in qualifying matches but was not selected for the final World Cup squad.
He told me he would, of course, love to represent his country on the pitch again.
“I would love to get called up at some point if I'm playing well enough. But I'm not over-thinking it. I know we have a big year with the Galaxy next year and I think the group of players we have are capable of winning another championship. So that's my main focus, and if I'm playing well enough with my club team then I hope Bruce will give me a chance with the national team.”
Rogers won the MLS Cup with the Arena and the Galaxy in 2014. He also won the cup in 2008 with the Columbus Crew.
Jurgen Klinsmann was the previous manager of the USMNT. Klinsmann never invited Rogers to a camp. Rogers said he had tried to reach out to Klinsmann but never got a response.
I also asked Rogers if he still intended to cover himself in glitter if he made the World Cup team. No confirmation of the glitter, but it sounds like Rogers wouldn’t be silent.
“If I go to Russia I will make sure FIFA and the country knows that a gay man is kicking some ass at the World Cup.”
Frankly the glitter was a fun line for Chelsea Handler but obviously not quite how a manager would want his player to show up for a World Cup match. Besides, Rogers — a clothing designer with his line Hampton + Baker (Rogers’ middle name is Hampton) — is waaaaaay too stylish for that. But a well-thought-out placement of a rainbow pin? It would be (shocking to say in 2016) groundbreaking for the World Cup while being thoughtful and respectful.