Robbie Rogers has signed a contract with the Los Angeles Galaxy of Major League Soccer, meaning he will soon become the first openly gay athlete to participate in an American team sport.
The former U.S. national team wing blogged in February that he was both homosexual and taking a break from the sport, writing at the time:
"Secrets can cause so much internal damage. People love to preach about honesty, how honesty is so plain and simple. Try explaining to your loved ones after 25 years you are gay."
Since that time, Jason Collins has come out as gay and Rogers has received support from his friends and family members, along with players in the MLS.
Rogers told USA Today that his decision to return to the field was influence by a speaking engagement last month in front of a group of about 500 children at the Nike Be True LGBT Youth Forum in Portland, Oregon.
"I seriously felt like a coward," he told the newspaper. "These kids are standing up for themselves and changing the world, and I'm 25, I have a platform and a voice to be a role model. How much of a coward was I to not step up to the plate?"
It's unclear when Rogers will see his first game action, though Los Angeles plays tomorrow night. He also said he has an eye on making the 2014 World Cup squad.