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May 27, 2013 at 12:44 AM

Robbie Rogers on his transcendent day: ‘It was perfect. It was really perfect.’

Photo credit: Jeff Gross, Getty Images

Photo credit: Jeff Gross, Getty Images

Here are some team-provided quotes from the Los Angeles Galaxy, after Robbie Rogers became the first active and openly gay player in league history to see game action…

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LA Galaxy Midfielder Robbie Rogers:

On making his Galaxy debut:

“Earlier today I was a bit nervous. I don’t know why. I just had two like hours before I actually left my apartment and I was like, ‘Oh gosh.’ But once I got to the stadium it felt totally normal. The guys made it really easy, they played so well tonight, first half especially. So it made my experience very enjoyable, no pressure at all coming on obviously and just got to enjoy myself and take it all in.”

On what went through his mind as he entered the game:

“If you were to see my face I just had a huge smile of enjoyment, of, ‘This is OK. I’m back. This is normal.’ This was great, very supportive. I keep saying the word normal but it was. And once I got on, and obviously (got) the support, I just kind of zoned in and was hoping to maybe get a goal or something. So, it’s just good to be back and I’m excited to move on from here.”

On how he felt out on the field:

“I was happy to get a few touches. I thought my running felt pretty good, I felt like I hadn’t lost too much speed. But again, it was, you know, 4-0 and I think Seattle today wasn’t at its best and I’m sure Sigi will say the same. It was just good to be back so that I can get my feet wet.”

On the day overall:

“It was perfect. It was really perfect. We won, which was the most important. My family was here, my friends, my grandparents who live in Palos Verdes. I think the first training session the Galaxy ever had on The Home Depot Center pitch I think I was here training with the Galaxy because Sigi was coach so I’ve kind of been on this huge journey to figure out my life and now I’m back here, I think, kind of where I’m supposed to be.”

On what’s next:

“It’s back to the grind of finding way to be successful and kind of getting that edge above other athletes.”

LA Galaxy Head Coach Bruce Arena

On tonight’s win:

“I thought our start to the game was real good. The guys had a real positive about getting out there tonight. I think this year, for large parts of the year, we have played pretty well just have been a little bit inconsistent, a little bit unlucky at times. I think at least tonight we rewarded ourselves and got the result we deserved.”

On Robbie Rogers making his Galaxy debut:

“What it means, and all those other aspects, I’ll let others comment on. In terms of a player he can’t be judged tonight, he can’t be judged in the next couple of weeks. Down the road he could be judged as a player, it’s way too early. We’re just fortunate that the game played out the way it did and there was an opportunity to get him on the field. But he has a way to go and it’s going to take some time and we’ll be patient with him. … I think that’s just (as) important to get it past all of us, and now he can go about the business of being a player and moving himself forward because it’s going to take some time.”

On how Rogers handled the moment:

“I think he did well. I thought he did well with all the lead up to this and what more can you say.”

On what the plan is for Rogers going forward:

“He just has to start training on a daily basis and being involved as much as he can in games. We have an Open Cup game Wednesday that he can be involve and continue to move forward with league matches and training. In a lot of ways the easy part is over, now the difficult part remains and that’s getting him positioned to play and that’s going to take some time. Our expectations for Robbie are not anything big in the near future, it’s just going to take time. The plan is just to move him along and see how he progresses and hopefully he can get back to where we thank he can be as a player.”

On Robbie Keane’s hat trick:

“The first one was a big goal. It got us to 2-0. There was a little chaos over the penalty kicks, and I didn’t see that, but Robbie had a good game and we were happy to get him off the field. Of course he will be traveling to London tomorrow, I believe, but he did his job and got us three goals tonight.”

On Gyasi Zardes’ first career start:

“I thought he played well he was dangerous and was a handful for the Seattle back line for the 80 some odd minutes he played. I think it was a good performance. He is going to get better as we move forward he is still relatively young and we anticipate that he is going to continue to improve as a player.”

LA Galaxy Forward Robbie Keane

On the victory:

“From the first minute of the game I thought we set the tone that ‘get in their faces’ and ‘don’t give them a second on the ball’ and that stopped them from playing. It worked obviously in our favor because every time we got the ball we moved it quickly and kept sneaking balls off of them and made it very, very difficult for them. In the first half I thought we played very, very well.”

On scoring his first hat trick in MLS:

“It’s obviously always nice to score. One, two, three or four, it really doesn’t matter. As a striker, ultimately, you are judged on scoring goals, so of course it’s great to score the hat trick, but the most important thing is getting the three points and bouncing back after the defeat last week against Red Bulls, which we certainly didn’t deserve to lose.”

On Robbie Rogers:

“He got a great reception from the fans. I’m sure he’s delighted to get that off his back now and now maybe, after this press conference, he can concentrate on just being totally part of the team and being a Galaxy player and none of this nonsense that comes along with it. So I’m sure after this it will be all over and he can just concentrate now on being a Galaxy player.”

LA Galaxy Forward Landon Donovan

On the first half performance:

“I think our start was really good, not just the goals but the energy. The way we pressed, the aggressive nature we played with. We made tackles, we passed the ball well, we got a lot of chances and then when we had the chance to score we scored. It was as well as we’ve played all year.”

On what Robbie Rogers brings to the team:

“Once he’s fully fit he’s a true wide player that we haven’t had in a long time, and I know Bruce has been searching for a player like that. On one hand, we lose one of our most influential players, which is tough, but we’re getting a guy who’s been very effective in this league and we’re really excited to have him.”

On what the team takes from Rogers’ courage to return:

“I think every person will take something from it individually. For me, it’s inspiring in that it’s OK to be who we are. We all have differences, we all have things were going through and for him to accept who he is and be proud of who he is I think inspires all of us, both as athletes and as people.”

On when people will focus on Rogers’ soccer life over his personal life:

“I think eventually we’ll get to that point and that’s the hope. But for now, because of the nature of the way sports have been for so many years, the macho-culture that’s been embraced by everybody, it’s of interest to everybody. So now, for us, hopefully the hype of it is over and for him, too. We can just get back to getting comfortable which is what he wants to do.”


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