was once close with Jurgen Klinsmann
. Rogers was a teen growing up in Southern California and Klinsmann a
German legend transplanted to America with his young family. They played on the same amateur team and drove together to work out with the LA Galaxy. But since he announced he was gay, Rogers says he
hasn't heard from Klinsmann.
"When I was coming out, it was to a very small group of people: my family, then some of my teammates like Sacha
, Brad Evans,
" Rogers told an MLS media roundtable in Manhattan Beach, Calif., near where he grew up. "Jurgen was one of the guys that I tried to
get in contact with -- email, messages, stuff like that. And I haven't heard from him."
Rogers scored the first goal of the Klinsmann era when struck the tying goal in a 1-1 tie with
Mexico in August 2011, but he has not heard from the U.S. coach since he returned from Leeds United -- "a really dark place in my life," he calls his time in England.
"Jurgen wrote my
letter to get to Leeds, for me to get a work permit," he said. "He was one of the guys who spoke to my mom about whether I should go to [U.S. Under-17] Residency or not." (He ended up staying for one
Since Rogers came out in 2013, he returned from soccer, unretired to sign with the Galaxy, moved to a new position, left back, and helped the Galaxy win MLS Cup 2014.
"I don't know how he feels about me as a soccer player," said Rogers. "I don't know how he feels about the whole situation. But I'm sure I'll speak with him and I know he said there is an open door
for me with the national team. That's cool, I guess."
Klinsmann has said he'd have called Rogers into the camp being up the road from where Rogers was speaking if he had not decided to
stock the camp roster with under-23 hopefuls.
"We'll see how the season goes and if I continue to improve as a left back," added Rogers. "I'd love to play on the national team and have
that conversation with Jurgen. Of course, I want to play for the national team but I think I need to have that conversation. I've know him since I was 12 or 13 years old. So I think him and I need to
have a live conversation if he's interested. I think that's more important to me than playing on the national team."