When Robbie Rogers went forty-seven minutes on Sunday of emergency duty replacing an injured Dan Gargan, it was his longest appearance across all major competitions in 2014. His MLS season debut came on May 18th when he got twenty minutes off the bench, the majority of his minutes in 2014 have come at the USL-Pro level with LA Galaxy II. It's been a long recovery for him, but his performance on Sunday suggests he's turned a corner and will continue to contribute at the senior level.
"I think just being able to train for three or four weeks and sustaining that kind of workload has really benefited me. I think there's tons of things I can improve on and today I thought there were things I could have done better but I was happy to provide Landon with that assist and get a point on the road."
In an overlapping fullback role, Rogers was important in the attacking half with ten completed passes, one of which was the assist on Landon Donovan's goal and another successful cross. He was only off on two of his passes in the attacking half, one of which was the early cross behind the Chicago back line that earned a thumbs up from Robbie Keane who knew that Rogers was doing the right thing.
Defensively he only had two clearances, blocks, and interceptions but the interception and recovery in the attacking half is the play that resulted in the Galaxy goal. He also made four recoveries in the defensive half.
"I really think these are the kind of games that when you get three points, and I think we are a good enough team to do that, but sometimes you just kind of have to grind it out."
The Galaxy were a tackle by Juninho just outside the penalty area away from getting all three points, and the energy Rogers provided after the starters had to fight it out through the hottest opening twenty minutes was a big reason why that was even a possibility. There's much more season to be played, but it's a positive sign for the shape of things to come.