Look how far we’ve all come in a year. Remember, it was just one short year ago that Robbie Rogers made American sports history.
No matter what the MSM establishment would have you believe, Rogers was the first American professional male athlete in a major sport to reveal publicly that he was gay. It was a big cultural moment.
Now? More and more Rogers is just another player, another man in uniform who has to make his way, whose ability to remain on roster needs earning. At some point, it doesn’t matter whether his name is Robbie Rogers or Roy Rogers or Roger Clemens – he has to earn his way and pay. Period.
Yes, Rogers will always remain a figure of historic relevancy. But he’s got to be a contributing member of the LA Galaxy … or Bruce Arena and Co. will rightly cut their losses, admit that trade (involving Mike Magee, which looks wildly tilted in the Chicago Fire’s favor at this point) was a bust of epic proportions and just move on.
And people like me will be watching like a blogging hawk, simply because Rogers is a figure of historic relevancy. This isn’t some B-list winger trying to make his way at New York or New England … this is Robbie Rogers!
And we start watching more closely next week, apparently.
That’s because Rogers is due back to Galaxy practice next week, according to Arena. He has been absent for most of the preseason.
By the way, Todd Dunivant is also due back next week. I mention that not only because the guy has 272 career MLS starts (that’s not including playoffs, Open Cup or Champions League matches) and still has something to offer in the Galaxy’s competitive pursuits. It’s also because the guy is a total pro and quite a nice fellow, the kind that (in all honesty) journalists like myself enjoy dealing with.
It isn’t Dortmund, but that’s a good thing for Liverpool.
Our own Joe Prince-Wright was on the scene for Jurgen Klopp’s unveiling as the latest Reds manager, and the 48-year-old German had a lot to say.
Perhaps most poignant for Liverpool fans are Klopp’s words on the talent he inherits from Brendan Rodgers. Sure there are quips that will hit the headlines, but how about Klopp’s assertion that success shouldn’t take nearly as long as his dramatic work at BVB.
From JPW on Merseyside:
“We did in Dortmund what we had to do, to improve the players, to work for a common idea of play. That is what we did and its the same thing we want to do here. They are not the same players of course,” Klopp told NBC Sports ProSoccerTalk. “These players from Liverpool are better, more experienced in some ways and younger in other cases. Everything is okay, I am here. I am not here only because LFC was calling. I believe in the potential of this team. Four or five strikers you can work with when they are not injured, midfielders is really good, defenders experienced and very young, goalkeeper is really good. Everything is there.”
Everything. A powerful word and one that doesn’t get lost in translation. Liverpool has a batch of world class talent, and Klopp’s is anxious to organize it in world class fashion. Strap in, Anfield.
So here we go: the biggest rivalry in U.S. Soccer, the one that sends fans racing for the stadia for a glimpse of history.
It’s the U.S. and Mexico for the right to go to the 2017 Confederations Cup in Russia, and it will play out at the Rose Bowl on Saturday night.
National pride is on the line, and national jobs may rightly be in jeopardy. Let’s swing through our coverage, and what’s at stake in just over 24 hours time.
Who is the key to Saturday’s match? Is it Michael Bradley? Fabian Johnson? Andres Guardado? Will Klinsmann opt for players with Liga MX experience, stay Euro Heavy, or appease the domestic set? Read more here.
So how will Klinsmann line ’em up? JPW has his preference, some options, and a prediction of what the manager will do.
What are the chances this one finds its way into the upper echelon of matches in the Mexico/U.S. rivalry? This is the company it could join.
The folks in the anti-Klinsmann brigade seethe with pure detestation of the USMNT boss. Any quote from him is self-serving and dishonest, any success accidental. Beat Germany or the Netherlands in friendlies on the road? Coincidental and Unimportant. Lose a friendly to Brazil? The worst thing ever.
[ MORE: The case for firing Klinsmann after a loss ]
So this match, being meaningful and testing his unbeaten mark vs Mexico, is going to be a clarion call for U.S. Soccer fans. Barring a cataclysmic loss in horrific blowout fashion, he won’t be canned. But a win will be validation for his supporters while a loss would cue a genuine hot seat. And for his detractors, already foaming at the mouth from the words of icon Landon Donovan? Kablammo.