NEW YORK (AP) – Robbie Rogers, the first openly gay male athlete to play in a US professional league, has a memoir scheduled to be published next year.
Penguin Books announced Thursday that ''Coming Out to Play'' will be published as a paperback original. Penguin says Rogers' book will track his rise from a ''troubled, isolated child'' to a winger for the Los Angeles Galaxy of Major League Soccer . The 26-year-old Rogers will co-write the book with Eric Marcusm, who collaborated on Greg Louganis' best-selling memoir.
Rogers retired from soccer in February, when he revealed in a post on his blog that he was gay. But he began training with the Galaxy in the spring at the invitation of coach Bruce Arena and was signed by the team in May. Rogers told T he Associated Press earlier this year that he changed his mind when he realized how much he still loved his sport -- and how much good he could do by playing it instead of standing on the sideline.
''I don't know what I was so afraid of,'' Rogers said. ''It's been such a positive experience for me. The one thing I've learned from all of this is being gay is not that big of a deal to people. People are just really growing and accepting and loving,'' Rogers said. ''Those other things are just not that important to them. I think as the younger get older and the generations come and go, I think times are just becoming more accepting.''
Rogers added: ''I want to get back to soccer, which is what I love,'' Rogers said. ''I get to do something I love, and I get to help people and be a positive role model. I'm really excited to set a great example for other kids that are going through the same thing I went through. It's a perfect world for me, a perfect world.''
Rogers won an NCAA title at Maryland in 2005 and an MLS title with Columbus in 2008 while making the all-league first team. He has played sparingly over the past two years for English clubs Leeds and Stevenage after leaving the Crew in December 2011.