Former US international midfielder Robbie Rogers has joined MLS side LA Galaxy.
Rogers, who came out as gay in February and subsequently retired from the game, becomes the only openly homosexual male athlete to compete in an American professional team sport.
The former Leeds United player could be in line for an appearance in the Galaxy's clash with Seattle Sounders and said he is ready for his return to the game.
"I was afraid to put myself back in a situation where I felt like I was kind of an outcast I guess, or just different from people," Rogers said.
"But after this whole process I've realised that everyone is a bit different, everyone has their issues."
Rodgers received support from figures both inside and outside the game after declaring he was gay but said this wasn't a factor in his decision to return.
"It was a decision that I had to make on my own," he said.
"For 25 years, I've been afraid to share a secret with someone and I finally did that. I kept my secret because I thought I couldn't be both a soccer player and a gay athlete. I was afraid to be back in an environment that affected me in the past. After I finally got in here, everything was completely normal."
Rogers joins a Galaxy side who are fifth in the MLS Western Conference standings.