Sporting Kansas City midfielder Roger Espinoza was recognized today for his stellar outing in Sporting’s comeback 2-1 victory against CF Montreal on Saturday night at Stade Saputo in Montreal.
Espinoza blasted in his second goal of the season from a whopping 44.14 yards out, the second-longest goal from open play over the last three MLS seasons. The savvy veteran's goal was the longest-distance goal from the run of play – and the second-longest distance goal overall -- by an SKC player in an MLS match during the Opta era (2010-present).
In the 29th minute of Saturday’s match, Espinoza blocked a Montreal service in the middle third. The tenacious midfielder stuck with the play and dispossessed Romell Quioto at the halfway line, picked his head up and fired a shot from improbable range over Sebastian Breza's outstretched hand and into the back of the net. This goal brought the match level and Sporting would go on to win with fellow midfielder Remi Walter finding the match-winner in the 63rd minute.
The 11th overall pick in the 2008 MLS SuperDraft, Espinoza played five seasons in Kansas City before joining Wigan Athletic FC in England. He returned to Sporting in 2015 and has helped the club win three U.S. Open Cup titles in his MLS career. He has now made 304 career regular season appearances for Sporting, the fourth most all-time among one-club MLS players.
Team of the Week (3-4-3, left to right): Brad Stuver (ATX); Christian Fuchs (CLT), Teenage Hadebe (HOU), Lalas Abubakar (COL); Ethan Finlay (ATX), Jose Cifuentes (LAFC), Alejandro Bedoya (PHI), Derrick Etienne Jr. (CLB); Julian Carranza (PHI), Taty Castellanos (NYC), Jaroslaw Niezgoda (POR)
Bench: Roger Espinoza (SKC), Bench: Aljaz Ivavic (POR), Jack Elliott (PHI), Jonathan Osorio (TOR), Cesar Araujo (ORL), Carlos Vela (LAFC), Cucho Hernandez (CLB)
Sporting KC has a busy week ahead of them, taking on Minnesota United FC on Wednesday and Real Salt Lake on Sunday. Both matches will be away from home with Wednesday's match kicking off at 7 p.m. CT on ESPN and Sunday's contest beginning at 8:30 p.m. CT on 38 The Spot. Sporting KC returns home to host Supporters' Shield front runners LAFC on Saturday, July 23 at Children's Mercy Park.