Beyond the reunion of Gregg Berhalter/Bruce Arena and the celebration of Landon Donovan's career, tomorrow's clash between the Crew and LA Galaxy also features the return of a 2008 MLS Cup Champion to Crew Stadium in the form of Robbie Rogers. Rogers, who suited up 106 times for the Black & Gold between 2007-2011, is set to make his first return to Columbus as visitor on Saturday.
"It's my first time back to Columbus since 2011. It's weird. It's weird going back," said Rogers. "I haven't been back since. I'm sure the city's changed. The team's obviously changed: new coaches, new everything. I'm excited to get back to the stadium, to see the town and see what changes have been made."
Rogers, speaking from Los Angeles, credited the Crew fans for making his time with the Black & Gold special, as the club won the MLS Supporters' Shield in 2008 and 2009 as well as MLS Cup in 2008.
"The fans were always great in Columbus. It's a city that obviously isn't a huge soccer town, but the fans that were Crew supporters were really big and always came to support us and traveled. Especially times when we won the Supporter's Shield. Back-to-back Supporters' Shield champions, I won MLS Cup there. They came all the way out [to Los Angeles] for the championship and always showed great support. I'm excited to get back. I'm obviously playing against them, so they probably won't be supporting me, but it will still be great to get back to the stadium."
Despite Rogers' familiarity with the stadium that he called home for parts of five seasons, he admits it will be strange to return as a visitor.
"It's going to be weird walking out there in a different uniform. I played four-and-a-half seasons there, always as the home team. It's going to be a little weird to be in the other locker room and to come in on a bus. All of that stuff is part of being a professional athlete. I don't know. It's going to be strange."