Red Bulls to pay £1.2m to beat Leeds and Newcastle to Irish winger – report

New York Red Bulls are prepared to pay £1.2 million ($1.8 million) to land Wigan Athletic winger James McClean this summer, according to the Belfast Telegraph.

McClean is a man in demand. The Irishman is set to leave the club following relegation to League One and could be on his way stateside after already meeting with the Red Bulls early last month.

Orlando City are also being linked with a move for the former Sunderland man but the Red Bulls look to be in the driving seat if he decides to become the latest Irishman to make the move to MLS.

Robbie Keane has been in America for a few years, while Kevin Doyle recently joined the Colorado Rapids and Sean St Ledger is with Orlando.

McClean’s only worry with a move to MLS is believed to be that he may limit his chances with the Republic of Ireland national team, but Keane has proved that you can still get international call-ups while playing across the pond.

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Newcastle and Leeds are also being linked with the 26-year-old attacker, with the Premier League the player’s preferred choice.

The Magpies could move for him if Steve McClaren is appointed as the new manager this summer, according to the Daily Star, and so it seems McClean is going to have a tough choice to make.

He still has one year left on his current Wigan deal and so a transfer fee will be required, though the Red Bulls look set to offer the Latics the same amount of money they paid to sign McClean from Sunderland in 2013.

Would James McClean be a good signing for the New York Red Bulls? 

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Former Leeds player explains how LA Galaxy move changed his life

LA Galaxy defender Robbie Rogers has reflected on his first MLS game for the club back in May 2013 and how it has changed his life after he had previously left Championship side Leeds United and retired from the game, believing he couldn’t continue because of his sexuality.

Rogers returned to action with a substitute appearance for the Galaxy during a 4-0 win over the Seattle Sounders on May 26, 2013 and is delighted he’s playing again and sees that first game as a defining moment.

“It was amazing, it was one of those games where you realise (being gay) is put into perspective. There’s millions of kids that struggle in the world with who they are, regardless if they’re gay or straight, or different religions, or ethnicities,” Rogers told LA Galaxy’s official YouTube channel.

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“To be a spokesperson for just being different I guess, I realised that game was a symbol in that way. I wasn’t ready to play, I wasn’t really fit or hadn’t trained for a long time but I was really excited and I felt grateful to be able to get onto the field and start my career and have my family there. And obviously my teammates were really supportive,” he added.

The 28-year-old has since gone on to make 29 appearances for the Galaxy and enjoyed another pivotal moment in his career when LA secured the MLS Cup title in 2014.

“Winning the championship last year, I think that’s why I was overly emotional after we won because I remembered all those experiences; the ups and downs, hard road trips, tough training sessions, bad games and good games.”

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The LA Galaxy defender can’t believe how quickly time has flown since his arrival and admits that his life has changed for the better.

“It’s crazy that it’s been two years, it feels like it’s been a lot longer than that. I think some of the biggest changes would be more just enjoying every day coming in here and being at peace with who I am and how I am different from guys on the team.

“But also how I’ve been able to fit in and to transition into being just another member on our team and to be a soccer player, or Robbie, rather than being a gay soccer player.

“When I first came in, it was tough, media every day had different events where there was just so much focus on me being a gay athlete. And now I don’t really even think about it so I think that’s the biggest difference.”

Are you impressed with how good Robbie Rogers has been for LA Galaxy?