U.S. National Team Member Robbie Rogers Comes Out As Gay, Walks Away From SoccerS

Rogers, who had 18 caps for the USMNT, starred for the Columbus Crew, and most recently played for Leeds United, has made the decision to leave soccer at just 25 years old. He made the startling announced in a post on his blog, in which he also publicly proclaimed that he's gay.

It reads, in part:

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.

I always thought I could hide this secret. Football was my escape, my purpose, my identity. Football hid my secret, gave me more joy than I could have ever imagined… I will always be thankful for my career. I will remember Beijing, The MLS Cup, and most of all my teammates. I will never forget the friends I have made a long the way and the friends that supported me once they knew my secret.

Now is my time to step away. It's time to discover myself away from football. It's 1 A.M. in London as I write this and I could not be happier with my decision. Life is so full of amazing things. I realized I could only truly enjoy my life once I was honest. Honesty is a bitch but makes life so simple and clear. My secret is gone, I am a free man, I can move on and live my life as my creator intended.

Rogers had battled injury this year, and was released by Leeds "by mutual consent" last month. In his announcement, he doesn't use the word retirement, so it sounds like he's going to take some time off and figure out to do with himself next. The world's wide open for him now.