3. Rogers leaves Maryland for Dutch club Heerenveen


Robbie Rogers, a 2005 second-team Soccer America All-Freshman pick, signed a multi-year contract with Dutch Eredivisie club Heerenveen and will not return to defending national champion Maryland.

"This was a once in a lifetime opportunity that came suddenly," Rogers continued. "The past seven days have been the toughest of my life in terms of making an educated decision about my future. However, I feel that I am ready to make soccer my career and this was an opportunity I could not pass up."

Rogers had tried out with Heerenveen over the summer before joinng the U.S. U-20 national team at the Milk Cup in Northern Ireland.

"This is a substantial contract with a club in the top league in Holland," said Maryland coach Sasho Cirovski. "Although losing Robbie at this point in time is significant for us because of his special qualities as a player and as a person, I am extremely happy to see him fulfill his boyhood dream. I am still extremely confident with the quality and character of our 2006 team, and am looking forward to another successful season.

Rogers, who totaled 19 points (7 goals, 5 assists) for Maryland, is the third collegiate underclassmen to sign with a Dutch pro club in the offseason. Freshman of the Year Lee Nguyen left Indiana for Dutch champion PSV. (Nguyen played for PSV in its 3-1 loss to Ajax for the Johan Cruyff Trophy on Sunday.) Canadian keeper Josh Wagenaar left after his junior season to sign with ADO.

Besides Nguyen and Rogers, one other member of the Soccer America All-Freshman teams signed with a foreign club in the offseason. Campbell's Sonny Guadarrama signed with Santos of the Mexican First Division.
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