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Return of a Terp

Robbie Rogers, who left Maryland after one season to play professionally in the Netherlands, signed a contract with MLS on Friday and will be assigned a team via a weighted lottery this Thursday, a source told me this morning.

Toronto and D.C. wanted to sign Rogers directly -- and were willing to spend major bucks to get him -- but the league intervened and said he would have to go in the lottery. (Perhaps punishment for shunning MLS last year?)

It's believed Rogers settled for a contract of about 55K his first year, with significant increases in ensuing seasons. (He was making an estimated 250K in Europe.) From what I've been told, Rogers was most interested in playing for Toronto, where he would be reunited with his Maryland buddy, Maurice Edu, the first overall pick in the January draft.

As for the lottery order -- which is usually based on teams' performances the last two seasons -- I hear that Toronto, despite being an expansion team, will NOT have the best odds. In fact, I'm hearing they will have the worst odds.

If D.C. does not win the lottery -- and its chances are slim -- they might try to swing a trade for the Southern California native.

By the way, Rogers apparently has been working out at Maryland in preparation of joining his soon-to-be-determined MLS club this weekend.

By Steve Goff  |  March 6, 2007; 11:33 AM ET
Categories:  MLS  
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I bet he lands with Columbus or RSL.

Posted by: 12th man | March 6, 2007 11:55 AM | Report abuse

Who do we have left to trade?
That is a really big salary drop. The MLS has got to stop punishing kids for testing the european waters.

Posted by: jgildea8 | March 6, 2007 12:01 PM | Report abuse

Goff - please rag on MLS until they bother to explain what exactly forces a player into a lottery.

Posted by: anonymous | March 6, 2007 12:03 PM | Report abuse

I bet RSL gets him, releases him, then trades 2 allocations plus 5 cases of beer to get him back.

Posted by: Freddy | March 6, 2007 12:05 PM | Report abuse

some day players will be able to sign with the teams they want, instead of being forced to ruin their careers in columbus.

Posted by: DCAustinite | March 6, 2007 12:05 PM | Report abuse

Yes, could you please write an article exposing a system that makes Burma look transparent. MLS fans deserve better than this bull.

Posted by: Kinney | March 6, 2007 12:06 PM | Report abuse

I think Toronto has been given plenty this offseason. As the only expansion team coming in this year they recieved th #1 (in both drafts)pick, twice the options that would normally be available in the expansion draft, and the #1 allocation.

Posted by: jgildea8 | March 6, 2007 12:11 PM | Report abuse

punishing him for testing European waters? So MLS is supposed to have their hands tied by some European team overpaying a guy upfront? Good for MLS. He's not worth more than he is being offered, until he proves otherwise.

Posted by: toophine | March 6, 2007 12:19 PM | Report abuse

Highly doubt DC lands him (especially via the lottery) but I would love to see him in a United jersey. Might not make a big impact in season 1, but I could see him having a huge second season.

Posted by: Voyager | March 6, 2007 12:28 PM | Report abuse

Folks. It's an MLS lottery. He'll be heading up to New York.......

Posted by: Kim | March 6, 2007 12:29 PM | Report abuse

I think there is a very high minimum salary in the Dutch league for foreign players - it may be what Rogers was earning or maybe he would make even more if he played regularly for their full team. So Rogers may be pretty good, just not worth that kind of cash to a relatively modest Dutch team. His contract seems to allow for a pretty big increase in year 2 so he's hardly in the same economic situation as Puerto Rico bound Needham or "I make most of my money at Galyan's" rookie Troy Perkins.

Posted by: garbaggio | March 6, 2007 12:39 PM | Report abuse

I don't think he's being punished, he's just not worth 250k in the MLS payscale.

And it might not be best for the individuals, but it is certainly best for MLS to get them to come to MLS to begin with.

Posted by: Sharp | March 6, 2007 12:54 PM | Report abuse

I hope we figure out a way to acquire him. He would be a perfect fit for the team.

Posted by: United4Eva | March 6, 2007 1:05 PM | Report abuse

From the MLS Regulations:

The players made available through lotteries include:

1. Generation adidas players signed after the MLS SuperDraft;

2. Draft eligible players to whom an MLS contract was offered but who failed to sign with the League prior to the Draft.

I don't know which one he falls into, but it has to be one of these.

Posted by: | March 6, 2007 1:26 PM | Report abuse

Playing time I guess is more important to Rogers than money. He sounds like a 19 year old.

Posted by: Ralph | March 6, 2007 1:37 PM | Report abuse

but MLS has conflicting rules. Why is Chivas USA signing former Bradenton players like Carlos Borja and Estuardo Sanchez right out of high school?

If Rogers had stayed in Europe for 5 years, is he then not a lottery? 3 years? 2 years? Conor Casey as an example. Is it based on age? Decided case by case by the league office?

The system isn't THAT far from transparent nowadays but there are some remaining holes that at times could get controversial.

Posted by: Anonymous | March 6, 2007 1:41 PM | Report abuse

Rogers is unhappy with European life and wants to be back in the States. Being overseas is tough for a 19yr old (language, cluture, playing style, etc) so I cant say its a big surprise. I respect his ability to make that decision and he will do well in the MLS, wherever he is.

Posted by: Terps fan | March 6, 2007 1:52 PM | Report abuse

Huge disappointment to all terps every where, he should have stayed in school until he was a big enough (mature enough) boy to play pro ball.

Posted by: jon | March 6, 2007 1:56 PM | Report abuse

To the above poster:

This isn't college basketball. Rogers was too talented to waste a year playing college soccer much less 2. Just because he's homesick, doesn't mean he's not mature enough to play pro ball. Welcome to MLS Robbie. Hopefully I'll see you with DCU this year.

Posted by: Kevin | March 6, 2007 2:24 PM | Report abuse

If anyone saw his peformances in U-20 Qualifying, I think they'd know better than saying that his time at Heerenveen was useless and he should have stayed at Maryland. He'll come in and be one of the best young wingers in the league.

Posted by: Max | March 6, 2007 2:38 PM | Report abuse

Too bad. He's a talent. He could team up with Garey again in Columbus.

Posted by: jj | March 6, 2007 9:00 PM | Report abuse

He is the defacto #1 MLS draft pick. Someone in the MLS is getting him very cheap due to a MLS rule that makes no sense.

Posted by: California | March 7, 2007 5:31 PM | Report abuse

What's to stop a player that ends up on a team he doesn't want to play for -Columbus- from simply holding out, and taking the stance that he won't play for X, but he'll play for A,B,C,Y,Z etc?

Posted by: AlecW81 | March 7, 2007 8:30 PM | Report abuse

I'm a TFC supporter, but I have to agree -- I think we've been given quite a lot already. In fact, I'm surprised at all the stuff we got -- #1 allocation, #1 pick in the draft etc. So I'm not too worried about how the lottery works out. If we do somehow win it and get Rogers, Mo is going to have to trade someone as we'll have something like 10 strikers on the roster.

Posted by: James17930 | March 7, 2007 9:02 PM | Report abuse

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