SportingKC · Roger Espinoza
Midfielder Roger Espinoza began his professional career in Kansas City (2008-2012) before moving abroad to join Wigan Athletic (2013-14) in England. In his final season with Sporting before leaving, Espinoza was an MLS All-Star and helped the club win the 2012 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup. Espinoza returned to Sporting KC in January 2015, becoming one of only three players currently under contract with MLS to have appeared in an Olympic Games and two or more FIFA World Cups.
Espinoza started 20 matches for Sporting KC during an injury-shortened 2015 season, recording a goal and five assists, and was a regular staple of the club's midfield in 2016 with another goal and five assists in 34 games (all competitions). He started all 36 competitive appearances during a 2017 campaign that saw Espinoza help Sporting KC to its fourth U.S. Open Cup title overall and its third since 2012. Espinoza enjoyed a brilliant 2018 with regular-season career-highs in goals (three) and assists (nine) as a key midfield cog.
Across 11 seasons with Sporting, Espinoza is third in club history with 301 appearances in all competitions, amassing 12 goals and 41 assists.
2020: MLS regular season: Started 12 of 16 appearances and recorded two goals and one assist (950 minutes played). Scored the second goal in a 4-0 win over the Houston Dynamo on March 7, his first for Sporting since October 2018. Assisted Alan Pulido's second goal in a 2-1 victory at the Houston Dynamo on Oct. 3. Assisted Alan Pulido's opening goal in a 4-0 win over the Colorado Rapids on Oct. 24. Came off the bench to score the match-winner in a 1-0 victory at FC Cincinnati on Oct. 28. MLS is Back Tournament: Started five matches (389 minutes played). MLS Cup Playoffs: Started two matches and recorded one goal (167 minutes played). Played 89 minutes in the Western Conference Quarterfinals on Nov. 22, scoring an early goal on his 300th competitive appearance for the club as Sporting defeated the San Jose Earthquakes 3-0 in a penalty shootout following a 3-3 draw. Played 78 minutes in a 3-0 loss to Minnesota United in the Western Conference Semifinals on Dec. 3.
2019: MLS regular season: Started 15 of 16 appearances and recorded three assists (1,149 minutes played). Assisted Felipe Gutierrez's goal and Johnny Russell's first of two goals in a record-breaking 7-1 win over the Montreal Impact on March 30. Missed three months with a knee injury before returning to action as a second-half substitute vs. FC Dallas on July 20. Became the fourth player in Sporting history to start 250 competitive matches for the club in a 1-0 win over the Houston Dynamo on Aug. 31. Assisted Krisztian Nemeth's goal in a 2-2 draw against the Portland Timbers on Sept. 29. Concacaf Champions League: Started six matches, recording one goal and one assist (495 minutes played). Started in both shutout wins over Deportivo Toluca FC in the Round of 16, assisting Gerso Fernandes' game-winner in a 2-0 second-leg victory at Toluca on Feb. 28. Started in both games of a 4-2 aggregate win over Independiente in the Quarterfinals, scoring a goal in a 3-0 second-leg win on March 14. Open Cup: Did not feature.
2018: MLS regular season: Started 31 matches, recording career-highs with three goals and nine assist (2,735 minutes played). Assisted Johnny Russell's goal in a thrilling 4-3 win at the Chicago Fire on March 10. Assisted Graham Zusi's stunning strike in a 3-2 win over the San Jose Earthquakes on March 17. Assisted Johnny Russell's goal in a 2-0 victory at the LA Galaxy on April 8. Assisted Johnny Russell's first two goals in a historic 6-0 hammering of Vancouver Whitecaps FC on April 20, taking just eight games to tie his regular season career high with five assists. Broke his MLS career-high with his sixth assist in a 4-1 win over Minnesota United FC on June 3, setting up Cristian Lobato's goal. Recorded two assists in a 4-2 loss at Real Salt Lake on July 4, helping set up Daniel Salloi's opener before doing the same for Ike Opara's second-half strike. Scored a spectacular long-range goal in a 3-2 loss to the New York Red Bulls on July 14. Assisted Diego Rubio's opening goal in a 3-0 win over Portland on Aug. 18. Set an MLS career-high with his second goal of the season in a 3-0 win at FC Dallas on Oct. 21. Scored a stunning long-range goal in a 2-1 win over LAFC on Oct. 28 to help Sporting KC finish first in the Western Conference. Open Cup: Played 22 minutes as a second-half substitute in a 2-0 fourth-round win over Real Salt Lake on June 6. Started and played 90 minutes in a 3-2 victory over FC Dallas in the Round of 16 on June 16. Started and played 90 minutes in a 4-2 quarterfinal loss at the Houston Dynamo on July 18. MLS Cup Playoffs: Started four matches (360 minutes played). Started and played 90 minutes in a 1-1 conference semifinal first leg draw at Real Salt Lake on Nov. 4. Started and played 90 minutes in a 4-2 conference semifinal second-leg win over Real Salt Lake on Nov. 11. Started and played 90 minutes in a 0-0 conference championship first-leg draw at Portland on Nov. 25. Started and played 90 minutes in a 3-2 conference championship second-leg loss to Portland on Nov. 29.
2017: MLS regular season: Started 30 matches, recording one goal and three assists (2677 minutes played). Assisted Gerso's game-winning goal in a 3-1 victory over Colorado Rapids on April 9. Assisted Benny Feilhaber's stunning game-winner in a 3-0 victory over Real Salt Lake on April 29. Scored his first goal of the season with a long strike against LA Galaxy on June 24. Assisted on a game-tying goal by Daniel Salloi against Portland Timbers on July 1. Open Cup: Started and played 90 minutes in a 4-0 fourth-round win over Minnesota United FC on June 14, assisting Daniel Salloi's goal in the 83rd minute. Played 90 minutes in a 2-0 round of 16 win over Houston Dynamo on June 28. Started and played 120 minutes in a 3-0 quarterfinal win against FC Dallas on July 11. Started and played 120 minutes in a 5-4 penalty shootout victory over the San Jose Earthquakes following a 1-1 draw through regulation and extra time on Aug. 9. Started and played 90 minutes in a 2-1 Open Cup Final victory over the New York Red Bulls on Sept. 20. MLS Cup Playoffs: Started and played 114 minutes in a 1-0 extra-time loss at the Houston Dynamo in the Western Conference Knockout Round on Oct. 26.
2016: Started 34 matches in all competitions, recording one goal and five assists (3069 minutes played). MLS regular season: Started 30 matches, scored one goal and recorded a career-high five assists (2679 minutes played). Tallied the game-winning assist to Jacob Peterson in a 2-1 victory over Orlando City SC on May 15. Assisted Dom Dwyer's opening goal in a 2-2 draw at Montreal Impact on June 25. Assisted Graham Zusi's goal in a 3-2 win over Columbus Crew SC on July 3. Assisted Dom Dwyer's first goal in a 3-0 win over Seattle Sounders FC on July 24. Scored a spectacular goal and assisted Dom Dwyer's goal in a 3-3 draw against Houston on Sept. 9. Open Cup: Started two matches (210 minutes played). Started and played 120 minutes in a 2-1 extra time win over Minnesota United FC on June 15. Started and played 90 minutes in a 3-1 fifth round loss at the Houston Dynamo on June 29. CONCACAF Champions League: Started and played 90 minutes in a 2-2 draw at Central FC on Aug. 16. MLS Cup Playoffs: Started and played 90 minutes in a 1-0 knockout round loss at Seattle Sounders FC on Oct. 27.
MLS: 2015 regular season: Made 17 starts, scored one goal and recorded a career-high four assists (1484 minutes played). Scored his first MLS goal since August 2011 in a 3-1 loss to FC Dallas on March 14. Assisted Jalil Anibaba's 91st-minute goal in a 3-2 win over Philadelphia on April 5. Assisted Dom Dwyer's equalizer in a 1-1 draw at D.C. United on May 9. Assisted Benny Feilhaber's goal in a 2-1 win over Montreal on July 18. Assisted Benny Feilhaber's goal in a 2-1 loss at Real Salt Lake on July 24. MLS Cup Playoffs: Did not feature. Open Cup: Started three matches and recorded one assist. Started and played 90 minutes in a 1-0 fourth round win over Saint Louis FC on June 16. Started and played 90 minutes in a 6-2 fifth round win over FC Dallas on July 1. Started and played 89 minutes in a 3-1 quarterfinal win over the Houston Dynamo on July 21, assisting Krisztian Nemeth's late goal to seal the victory.
ENGLAND: Made 57 appearances in all competitions for Wigan Athletic FC, including 42 league appearances and three games played in the UEFA Europa League.
2014-15: Made 13 appearances in all competitions, scoring his first English Championship goal on Nov. 1 against Fulham.
2013-14: Named Wigan's Community Player of the Year. Played 29 matches in all competitions, including 19 in the English Championship, three in the UEFA Europa League and an appearance in the 2013 FA Community Shield against Manchester United. Espinoza and Wigan defended the FA Cup title with a deep run in the 2013-14 edition of the tournament, highlighted by another upset of Manchester City, before falling on penalties to eventual champions Arsenal in the semifinals at Wembley Stadium. Espinoza's goal against MK Dons (Jan. 4) was voted the best goal of the FA Cup third round.
2012-13: Made 16 appearances for Wigan across all competitions, including 12 in the English Premier League and four in the FA Cup. Made his Premier League debut on Jan. 19 against Sunderland. Scored his first Premier League goal against Swansea City on May 7. Started and played 90 minutes in Wigan's historic 1-0 victory in the 2013 FA Cup final over Manchester City at Wembley Stadium on May 11. The feat -- which earned Wigan a berth in the 2013-14 UEFA Europa League group stage and a match-up against Manchester United in the 2013 FA Community Shield -- saw Espinoza join Freddie Ljunberg as the only two players in MLS history to have appeared in the finals and won both the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup and FA Cup.
2012: Espinoza started in 26 matches for Sporting Kansas City during the 2012 MLS regular season and provided a spark to the Sporting KC midfield in each match that he was available. Espinoza left the October 7th match against the Columbus Crew in second half stoppage time after suffering a high ankle sprain. Espinoza missed the final two matches of the regular season but played significant minutes in the clubs two legged playoff series against the Houston Dynamo. Espinoza was named a 2012 AT&T MLS All-Star.
2011: Recorded first point of season with assist in 3-3 draw at Vancouver Whitecaps FC on April 2nd. Tallied assists in back-to-back matches, in 1-1 tie at Houston Dynamo and in 4-2 victory over Toronto FC. Recorded his first game winning goal since 2008 during a 2-0 victory over Real Salt Lake on August 3rd.
2010: Enjoyed his best season to date in the league, appearing in 25 matches, all of them starts, and recording one assist. Graduated from the MLS Generation Adidas program at the end of the season. Played the full 90 minutes in 2-1 win over Manchester United in summer friendly.
2009: Appeared in 16 games (six starts), recording two assists. Missed time with the team due to his inclusion in the Honduran National team's squad for the 2009 Gold Cup.
2008: Selected 11th overall in the first round of the 2008 MLS SuperDraft. As a rookie, played 22 games (12 starts) and tied for third on the team in assists with 3. Started 6 games for the reserve team and recorded 2 assists. Named Kansas City’s 2008 Rookie of the Year.
NATIONAL TEAM (53 caps, 4 goals): Earned first of 53 career appearances for the Honduras National Team on Jan. 22, 2009 in a 2-1 win over Belize. Scored game-winning goal in 1-0 victory over El Salvador in the UNCAF Nations Cup 3rd place match, his first goal for the national team. Named in the Honduras squad for the 2009 CONCACAF Gold Cup, scoring against Grenada and helping the team to a semi-final berth. Scored again for Honduras against the United States in a friendly on Jan. 23, 2010.
Named to the roster for the 2010 FIFA World Cup in South Africa and started two matches, going the full 90 against Chile (June 16) and 45 minutes versus eventual champions Spain (June 21). Appeared in quarterfinal and semifinal matches of 2011 CONCACAF Gold Cup. Again received a call-up to play for international friendlies against the United States and Jamaica on Oct. 8, 2011 and Oct. 12, 2011, starting both matches.
Participated in the London 2012 Summer Olympics. Despite being the underdogs, Honduras advanced from group stage before falling 3-2 to Brazil in the quarterfinals. Espinoza earned a goal and an assist before being shown a second yellow card in the 90th minute of the quarterfinals. As Espinoza exited the pitch, he received a standing ovation.
Scored a goal in an international friendly against Israel on June 2, 2014. He started all three group stage matches for Honduras in the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil, playing 90 minutes against France (June 15) and Ecuador (June 21) and 45 minutes against Switzerland (June 25).
2015: Started and played 65 minutes in a 3-1 loss to French Guiana in the first leg of a CONCACAF Gold Cup play-in series.
2016: Started and played 90 minutes in a 3-1 friendly defeat to Guatemala on Feb. 10. Started and played 90 minutes in a 2-2 World Cup qualifying draw at El Salvador on March 25. Started and played 90 minutes in a 2-0 World Cup qualifying win against El Salvador on March 29. Started and played 90 minutes in a 3-1 World Cup qualifying win over Trinidad and Tobago on Nov. 15.
2017: Started and played 90 minutes in a 6-0 World Cup qualifying defeat against the United States on March 24. Started and played 90 minutes in a 1-1 World Cup qualifying draw against Costa Rica on March 28.
COLLEGE: Started career at Yavapai College where he was first team All-Conference, Conference Player of the Year and National Player of the Year runner-up. Transferred to Ohio State, where he was named first team All-Conference and led the Buckeyes to the College Cup final.
PERSONAL: One of six children. Loves snowboarding, ice fishing and playing Call of Duty. Also enjoys eating, especially his mother’s Honduran cuisine.