Former MLS midfielder David Testo publicly announced his homosexuality in an interview with CBC Radio-Canada on Thursday.
Testo, 30, is the first professional soccer player to come out of the closet.
Testo's sexuality was not totally a secret -- his family and most recent MLS team, the Montreal Impact, knew about it. Testo joined the Impact in 2007, but is without a contract and will not be back with the team for the club's promotion to MLS next year.
David Testo's declaration is in fact very personal, Montreal Impact president Joey Saputo said, in a statement. We knew David's orientation prior to him joining our club from Vancouver in 2007. During his career in Montreal he has always been a professional and dedicated player to this club on and off the field. His decision to go public must have been a difficult one and we respect it.
Testo, however, regrets not having come out publicly during his professional career. He told CBC that although teammates knew he was gay and accepted him, he was afraid to come out until now.
I really regret not having said publicly earlier, said Testo. I fought with it all my life, my whole career. Living the life of a professional athlete and being gay is incredibly difficult.
Testo previously played for the Vancouver Whitecaps, Columbus Crew and Richmond Kickers. He was released by Montreal on Oct. 12, 2011. In his nine-year career, he has 196 appearances, 21 goals and 13 assists.
European soccer players Justin Fashanu and Anton Hysén also have gone public to announce they are gay.