MX23RW : Tuesday, July 17 05:55:01

First openly gay US male soccer player Robbie Rogers announces retirement

Robbie Rogers, the first openly gay male professional athlete in US pro sports, announces his retirement from football for a second time.

Los Angeles Galaxy defender Robbie Rogers has announced his retirement from football for a second time after failing to recover from an ankle injury sustained earlier this year.

The 30-year-old became the first openly gay male professional athlete in US pro sports four years ago when initially announcing his retirement.

Rogers, also the first openly gay professional footballer since Justin Fashanu in 1990, overturned his previous decision three months later when offered the chance to play for LA Galaxy.

Seventy-eight Major League Soccer appearances would follow, before bowing out for good after missing the duration of the 2017 season with a foot injury picked up in May.

"It is with mixed emotions that I announce my retirement from the game of soccer," he said in a statement. "It is through this game that I have experienced some of my greatest achievements both professionally and personally.

"I leave the game full of pride of what I have accomplished as a person and a player. I am looking forward to the next chapter of my life."

Capped 18 times for the United States national team, Rogers also spent a short spell with Leeds United and Stevenage in English football.

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Leeds United CEO David Haigh looks on during the Championship match against Yeovil Town February 08, 2014
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