5213_rogersrobbie_isi_usmnt012310402 John Todd/isiphotos.com
ASN Weekly Debate

Will Robbie Rogers Play for the USMNT Again?

Our dynamic debaters take on the subject of the once (and future?) member of the United States national team. There's also an embedded video that you really have to see to believe.
BY Noah Davis and Ryan O'Hanlon Posted
May 03, 2013
11:00 AM
Noah Davis: Ryan. Let's get way ahead of ourselves: Will Robbie Rogers play for the United States national team again?

Ryan O'Hanlon: If I had to bet on whether a currently-retired, recently-out soccer player who hasn't played for the national team since 2011 would ever play for the national team, I'd bet "no." But, that being said, if he starts playing again, I'd give him, I dunno, a 40 percent chance of earning one more cap.

Davis: Which, all things considered, is pretty good for a currently-retired, recently-out soccer player who hasn't played for the national team since 2011. I give it about a 10 percent chance. Maybe less. I think the Gold Cup this summer is one of the last times I can see him making a roster—there are too many better players waiting in the wings—and I don't think he's going to be ready. But it would be nice. O'Hanlon: "Waiting in the wings." Nice one.

Davis: It works on so many levels.

O'Hanlon: But yeah, it would be nice, which maybe gives it a better chance of happening? Like, two years from now, say Rogers is one of the better wingers in MLS, and the US is playing some meaningless game, there would some not-unsubstantial reasons to call him in for a game. It's not like "form and form only" is the sole decider on who gets called in to each camp.

Davis: Sure, although no one involved will want it to be a charity case. You're right that it's possible if he's one of the best wingers in MLS. He will certainly have all the intangibles on his side. At this point, I just hope he comes back to MLS. Rogers running up and down the flanks for the Galaxy would be fun. Bring back Herculez Gomez, too. The whole gang. Better chance of cap: Holden or Rogers? (Editors note: We had this conversation before news of Holden's May/June camp appearance broke.)

O'Hanlon: That would be great—get Peter Vagenas back in there, too, just so I can say his name because I'm five years old. Plus, I enjoy watching Rogers play. So, for totally selfish reasons, it would be fun to see. It's Holden, but it's way closer than I ever would've imagined.

Davis: Way closer, right? I suppose that says more about the up and down nature of U.S. Soccer, and soccer in general, than about the two players. It also shows how far Holden has to go, both on the field in terms of getting back to speed and because of the structure of the American player pool. Playing in MLS, if he does, will help Rogers, too. Just had this thought: Can't you see him as a January camp call up? He's young enough that there's potential there but also experienced and worldly enough to lead. Book it: Robbie Rogers returns to the national team January 2014. Ignore all that's been said before.

O'Hanlon: I can see that happening... if he starts playing, like, tomorrow. The January camp might actually be worth something! Unless they play Canada. Nothing can be historically transcendent if it involves the Canadian soccer team.

Davis: Maybe Rogers is the solution to scoring against Canada.

O'Hanlon: Well, basically every other living American soccer player is not the solution, so maybe! I hope we get to find out.

Davis: Stay tuned for the exciting conclusion to the U.S.-Canada series, No One Scores. Ever.

O'Hanlon: The idea of The First Gay American Soccer Player to Score a Goal Against Canada just broke my brain.

Davis: Agreed.

Noah Davis and Ryan O'Hanlon do this every week. Except for last week when they didn't.

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