1) Robbie Rogers Makes History
Robbie Rogers made history this weekend when he entered Sunday’s game for the Los Angeles Galaxy in the 77th minute of the Galaxy’s 4-0 win over Seattle, becoming the first openly gay male athlete to compete in a major American sports league.
When news of NBA veteran free agent Jason Collins’ Sports Illustrated article broke in late May, Collins was referred to as the first active male athlete in one if the four major American sports to come out as gay. Forgotten by many at the time was that Robbie Rogers had made his own declaration in February, when he told all that he was gay and said that he was stepping away from the game.
But the question of whether soccer is “major” or not faded into irrelevance when a smiling Rogers was subbed into Sunday’s game. The sheer normality of the moment, one player replacing another late in a blowout victory, was encouraging for Rogers. “Ok, this is a soccer game, I’ve done this a million times,” Rogers said after the game. “I’m not not naive,” Rogers added, “I know people are watching.”
Now, with his debut out of the way, Rogers can work on regaining full match fitness after his time away from the game. There may yet be some moments that won’t go as smoothly for Rogers as his home debut went in front of an encouraging L.A. crowd, but perhaps the last major taboo in men’s professional sports has been broken and there is no going back now.
2) Mike Magee Goes Home to Chicago
It was no secret that L.A. were trying to acquire Rogers from Chicago, but it was a bit of surprise that the Fire were able to pry Mike Magee away from the Galaxy in return. Magee remains L.A.’s leading goal scorer this season with six, and he has displayed a knack for scoring big goals in L.A.’s run to consecutive MLS Cup titles.
It turns out that Magee requested the trade so that he can be closer to his family in Chicago, making this a rare trade in which everyone gets what they want. Magee, a midfielder/forward is going to a Chicago team that desperately needs goals, as well as some points in the standings. The Fire sit in eighth place, 10 points behind Philadelphia for the last Eastern Conference playoff spot. Chicago do have two games in hand on the Union, but they will be hoping that Magee can add to his goals tally in his hometown. Magee’s six goals are just one behind the Fire’s team total of seven.
3) Can Someone Get This Kid A passport?
18 year old New England Revolution attacker Diego Fagundez was born in Uruguay, but has been living in the United States since he was a young child. Fagundez has repped the U.S. at various youth levels, but he is ineligible to suit up for the Red, White and Blue. I don’t know if he wants one or not, but if he was in just about any other country he would have been granted some sort of special status passport by now. So what about it Sunil, don’t you know anyone in the U.S. State Department?
Meanwhile Fagundez and 20 year old Juan Agudelo are fast becoming a nightmare for New England opponents, with the duo each scoring for the second time in consecutive games, as the Revs topped Toronto 2-0 on Saturday.
Playmaking midfielder Lee Nguyen is another cog in a much improved New England side that
looks poised to make a playoff push this season.
4) Montreal are For Real
While everyone keeps waiting for Montreal to come back down to earth, the Impact just keep on winning. This weekend’s victims were the Philadelphia Union, falling to the Impact in Montreal in a 5-3 thriller.
Montreal’s 37 year old Italian striker Marco Di Vaio has apparently sipped from the fountain of youth since his arrival in Canada, and on Saturday Di Vaio notched a first half hat trick to outdo Philadelphia’s 20 year old American striker Jack McInerney, who managed just a single goal on the evening. Di Vaio and McInerney are tied now with nine goals in the race for the MLS Golden Boot.
In just their second season in MLS the Impact are breathing down New York Red Bulls neck at the top of the Eastern Conference. The Bulls are on top with 25 points, with Montreal just two points back, having played just 11 matches.
5) U.S Open Cup Starts For MLS Clubs – USMNT Get Ready For Hex
League play takes a back seat this week as round three of the U.S. Open Cup gets underway with nine MLS clubs taking part. Sporting Kansas City will open their defense of the Cup by taking on the wonderfully named Des Moines Menace tonight at Sporting Park.
The USMNT will also take on Belgium Wednesday night in Cleveland with Germany on deck for June 2, in Washington D.C. And not to forget Canada, the Maple Leafs take on Costa Rica tonight in Edmonton, Alberta.