Rogers eligible to make debut for LA Galaxy

Associated Press
FILE - In this Saturday, Aug. 8, 2009 file photo, Columbus Crew's Robbie Rogers celebrates after scoring against the San Jose Earthquakes during the second half of an MLS soccer match in San Francisco. Rogers is joining the Los Angeles Galaxy of Major League Soccer in another step by gay athletes. Rogers tells The Associated Press his fears about returning to soccer were eased by the support he received from family, fans and players, including Galaxy star Landon Donovan. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez, File)

CARSON, Calif. (AP) — Robbie Rogers didn't play as a substitute in the first half of the Los Angeles Galaxy's game Sunday night.

The former U.S. national team winger will become the first active openly gay male athlete to compete in a North American professional team sport when he makes his debut.

The Galaxy led the Seattle Sounders 4-0 at halftime.

Rogers was the focus of six photographers after he and the other subs sat on the bench before the game began.

Marc Burch, a Sounders substitute, slapped hands with Rogers as he headed toward the visiting bench. Seattle coach Sigi Schmid, who once coached the Galaxy, sought out Rogers for a supportive pre-game hug.

Rogers signed with the team Saturday after being acquired from the Chicago Fire. The Galaxy traded Mike Magee to his hometown Fire in exchange for the rights to Rogers, who signed a multiyear deal.