Kansas City Wizards midfielder/defender Roger Espinoza started and played 90 minutes in the opening World Cup match for Honduras, a 1-0 loss to Chile. KCWizards.com caught up with the 23-year-old leftie for his thoughts on the match and tournament.
When did you find out you were starting, and how did it feel?
I found out that I was going to be a starter the day of the game. That morning we had the team meeting, and the coach gave out the starting lineup for the game. The coach always gives the starting lineup either at the stadium or right before we leave to the stadium. This time he gave the starting lineup at meeting since it was a competitive match and not a friendly. When he said my name, I felt very excited because I knew that it was a dream come true. I always dreamed as a kid to be a starter at a World Cup match, so when I got here for World Cup preparation, I worked very hard so I could get a starting position.
Tell us what it was like standing on the field during the Honduras National Anthem for your country’s World Cup opener.
At the moment the National Anthem came on, as I was singing it, I could not believe that I was there at that moment. I knew that it was what I have waited for my whole life for. It was an exciting moment just thinking that my dream was no longer a dream and that I was actually there about to start the opening game for my country.
On your shot in the first half, was that headed on goal if Medel doesn’t block it?
From my angle it looked like it was going on goal.
How does the team feel after the match?
We felt that we could have done a lot better as a team, that we needed to move the ball around a lot faster and have some better movement without the ball. Chile was very good at pressuring us coming out of the back. Congrats to Chile. They came out with a good game plan that made it very difficult for us.
How have the people in South Africa embraced the World Cup?
It's amazing how everyone here is in tune with the World Cup. In the streets, you see the local people wearing the South African jersey or wearing jerseys of other national teams. When our bus goes by, you hear people with the vuvuzelas and people chanting and chasing our bus.