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Robbie Rogers Gay: U.S. Soccer Player Comes Out, 'Steps Away' From Sport

02/15/2013 01:56 pm ET | Updated Jun 01, 2013

In a poignant post entitled "The Next Chapter..." on his personal website, U.S. soccer player Robbie Rogers has come out as gay and also stepped away from professional soccer.

The 25-year-old midfielder from California played in 18 games for the U.S. men's national team and starred for the Columbus Crew before leaving the MLS for Europe.

Although he described his playing career as giving him "more joy than I could have ever imagined," the pain in Rogers' writing is palpable at times.

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. Try convincing yourself that your creator has the most wonderful purpose for you even though you were taught differently.

According to Goal.com, Rogers is now "one of the few professional soccer players to openly declare his homosexuality."

CLICK HERE to read the full statement.

Rogers shared the heartfelt post on Twitter on Friday afternoon.

Among the many responses were notable messages of support from some of his peers.

Rogers played for Leeds during the 2011-2012 season and saw limited action with Stevenage during the 2012-2013 campaign.

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