At the beginning of the season, I made a bold prediction that this would be the season in which Robbie Rogers would prove himself and put all the nostalgic Mike Magee fans to rest. At first, I thought I had made a grave error, but if last night’s performance was a start of a new Rogers — rather than just a one off — then I think I may have been on to something.
Tonight’s match was embarrassing to the Los Angeles Galaxy, but it was able to tie up the match thanks to a brilliant performance by Rogers. He was subbed in the 43rd minute in place of an injured Dan Gargan, and he hit the ground running. He was aggressive and clean, and he was the reason the club was able to tie the match. Yes, Landon Donovan made the goal, but he would not have been able to without Rogers’ beautiful cross.
Rogers was out for a while due to injury, and after he reached fitness he joined Galaxy’s second team LA Galaxy II in training and in matches. It took him a while to get back to peak physical condition, but he recently rejoined the first team as a substitute. He was an incredible substitute and was just what Galaxy needed; unfortunately, his teammates were not able to perform as well as he did.
Rogers has dealt with a lot of criticism since he joined the Galaxy. He’s unfairly compared to the departed Magee, and I think he faces harsher criticism because of it. Magee was out due to injury in today’s match, but in peak fitness Magee is an incredible striker. Rogers came in as a midfielder, but as he began training with LA Galaxy II, Bruce Arena put him in as a right back, and he did surprisingly well. This may not be Rogers’ permanent position, but it was a position that needed to be filled because of shaky back line. Rogers stepped up and performed his best.