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February 15, 2013 at 9:22 AM

Robbie Rogers comes out, stepping away from soccer at age 25 (Friday links)

Robbie Rogers penned a powerful blog post Friday, in which he announced he is stepping away from soccer at age 25 and revealed that he is gay.

Rogers, as you may remember, played for coach Sigi Schmid and alongside Brad Evans with the Columbus Crew.

He was named to the MLS Best XI in 2008, the year the Crew won the MLS Cup, and featured for a period of time with the U.S. men’s national team. Here is a snippet from the blog post:

I always thought I could hide this secret. Football was my escape, my purpose, my identity. Football hid my secret, gave me more joy than I could have ever imagined… I will always be thankful for my career. I will remember Beijing, The MLS Cup, and most of all my teammates.  I will never forget the friends I have made a long the way and the friends that supported me once they knew my secret.

Let’s get to some links:

*     *     *

— Might Danish trialist Philip Lund be signing with the Sounders?

— Here’s a Twitter picture from Mikael Silvestre landing in Manchester, England, following his brief trial with Seattle.

— Twitter tells us reported target Joan Verdu is likely to sign a contract extension with Espanyol of La Liga. This came after a recent report that the “door wasn’t closed” for the Sounders.

— Worried about a meteor strike here? Don’t be says Zach Scott.

ProSoccerTalk caught up with Eddie Johnson down in Tucson.

— Here’s a deeper look at Reign FC’s upcoming preseason trip to Japan.

— Around MLS, Houston signed a homegrown player, here’s the official release on James Riley being traded to D.C. United, San Jose’s Steven Beitashour recently underwent surgery, and Chivas USA signed a pair of defenders.

— Did you see these artsy posters for teams around the league?

— Looks like progress is being made regarding a new stadium for D.C., and Real Salt Lake is considering a partnership with Phoenix FC of the USL PRO (Andrew Weber‘s new club).

— Aston Villa goalkeeper Brad Guzan probably made Chicago fans happy by saying he’d like to come back and play for the Fire again at some point.

— In some various links, here is the latest mailbag from SI’s Grant Wahl, Manchester United is expected to make a ton of revenue, and there’s another addition to the Maradona family.

— You have to see the goals scored in a thrilling Europa League game between Tottenham and Lyon from Thursday. Phenomenal. All three.

There’s a petition out calling for President Barack Obama to get Landon Donovan back. Really.

Here’s a story on FIFA considering harsher punishment for racist behavior from fans, and here’s a broader look at the issues the sport is facing.

— Lastly, Chicago’s preseason training camp has alligators in the work place…

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