(USA Today) -- Robbie Rogers made his return to Major League Soccer official on Saturday at a news conference where he was introduced as a member of the Los Angeles Galaxy.
Rogers, who came out with his sexuality in February and subsequently retired, announced his return Friday in a USA TODAY Sports story. On Saturday, he expressed confidence as he gears up for his role as the league's first openly gay player.
The 26-year-old tweeted, "an exciting future lies ahead, not only for me but for our society."
He told The Associated Press: "The one thing I've learned from all of this is being gay is not that big of a deal to people.''
''I would have thought more athletes would have taken that step, I guess,'' Rogers added. ''People have seen how accepting everyone has been of Jason (Collins) and my story. I think it's going to take just more time and more athletes coming out. It's all about seeing that it's not something to be afraid of. It's not going to hurt your career.''
Rogers signed a multiyear contract and will wear No. 14. He told The Los Angeles Times his decision was not influenced by NBA player Jason Collins, who became the NBA's first openly gay player when he announced his sexuality earlier this month.
"He asked me for some advice and I was honest with him and wished him the best of luck," Rogers said of Collins.
In an exclusive interview with USA TODAY Sports earlier this week about his return, Rogers said he felt like a "coward" for not choosing to play soccer anymore. "These kids are standing up for themselves and changing the world, and I'm 25, I have a platform and a voice to be a role model," he said. "How much of a coward was I to not step up to the plate?"
Rogers says he hopes to earn a shot at playing for the U.S. national team in the 2014 World Cup - and to be the role model for gay teens in the process.