After courageously announcing that he was gay and stepping away from the game earlier this year, it is being widely reported that Robbie Rogers is training with LA. To be clear, this doesn't mean that he is set to return to MLS imminently. To be realistic, in my opinion this seems to set the stage for a potential return to the league and the game. While it is possible that he just wants to get some activity in since he lives in LA, it is also quite likely that an absence from the game has gotten his craving for soccer going again. Right now only Robbie knows for sure.
If Rogers does in fact return to MLS, it sets up an interesting scenario that could either net the Fire a new player or some compensation in return for Rogers. As most of us probably recall, the Fire still hold Robbie's MLS rights. That means that any team hoping to pry him away from the Men in Red will have to work out some form of compensation.
If Robbie does return, it seems fairly obvious that he would love to have the chance to play for LA. He never did seem too keen to play for the Fire before he announced that he was stepping away from the game. While it is possible the Fire could work something out, I think it's much more likely that we deal his rights if Rogers does in fact announce that he is coming back.
The question then becomes what sort of compensation would be in the cards? Straight allocation money? A player swap? A mixture of the two? Unfortunately there is no way to tell until Rogers officially announces his return and the Fire start talking terms. And rather than just LA and Chicago being involved in talks as most people are expecting, at least one other team is rumored to be interested in Robbie Rogers. While Sigi Schmid didn't expressly state they would go after him, he certainly sounds like they would look at an option like that.
In the event of multiple teams being interested, it could create quite a transaction. The Fire could decide to deal with LA, then let LA choose whether they want to sell him on. Or, the Fire could essentially start a bidding war and take the highest price. Again, this is all speculation and in the end may not happen. With the Men in Red needing help in multiple areas, holding Rogers rights could be very advantageous.
This figures to be an interesting next week or two as this story continues to develop. Keep an eye on HTIOT as we will be sure to bring you all the latest updates as they occur.