By DAN KARELL
It’s a scenario that seemed unlikely just three months ago when Robbie Rogers retired from professional soccer, but now after taking part in a week’s training with the Los Angeles Galaxy, the former U.S. international is considering a return.
One thing standing in his way though is that the Chicago Fire own his rights, acquiring them after an offseason deal with Rogers’ former club Columbus Crew. Speaking on the Soccer Today podcast, Rogers said that if he wasn’t able to play near his family, he probably wouldn’t return to Major League Soccer.
“I don’t want to go to Chicago,” Rogers said on the show Soccer Today. “I think if it comes down to you can only play in Chicago, then I probably won’t go back. I need to do it somewhere where I’m totally 100 percent comfortable.”
Current MLS rules prohibit American soccer players who want to return to the States from joining the team of their choice, either forcing the players to go through a weighted lottery or giving the player’s former team the right of first refusal indefinitely. As the Fire currently hold Rogers’ rights, and have expressed a desire to sign Rogers, it looks as though the Galaxy would have to work out a trade with the Fire to secure his services. MLS could be compelled to step in and facilitate a deal if the Fire and Galaxy can’t reach an agreement.
Is it unfair of the Fire to want compensation? Not really considering they traded for his rights in the Dominick Oduro for Dilly Duka swap. A deal involving a draft pick seems like the most likely scenario.
What do you make of this situation? Do you think MLS needs to change it’s rules? Do you feel the Fire should be allowed to hold on to Rogers’ rights? Think Rogers would be a good fit on the Galaxy?
Share your thoughts below.