Ten years after being drafted by Sporting Kansas City in the first round of the 2008 MLS SuperDraft, Roger Espinoza is now among the locker room leaders as the club prepares to kick off its 2018 season at 6:30 p.m. CT on Sunday at Children's Mercy Park with a nationally-televised match-up on FS1 against New York City FC.
On Thursday, Espinoza stopped by the KC 102.1 FM studio and gave a glimpse into life inside the close confines of a locker room and the cleanliness of certain teammates.
"You know you're going to be pretty much living with this guy for a whole year. He's your neighbor," Espinoza said. "I had a little problem with Ike (Opara) last year so I decided to kick him out of my neighborhood. Hopefully (Graham) Zusi is a little cleaner guy. There's no HOA but if things start getting out of hand, I'll handle it the right way...To be fair, Ike ended up being MLS Defender of the Year. He got his stuff together and look at him now."
Espinoza, one of the team's three Designated Players in 2018, also shared his thoughts on moving into the new $75-million Pinnacle training facility, the team's preseason campaign in Arizona and the opportunity to open the new season in front of the home faithful.
"It's always exciting to come back home with our fans," Espinoza said. "I think one of the reasons we have had a lot of winning seasons here in Kansas City is because of our fans. They're always there supporting us and our stadium gets very loud."
Tickets for Sunday's match are available online at SeatGeek.com or at the Children's Mercy Park box offices on gameday. The first 15,000 fans inside the stadium will receive a Sporting KC schedule magnet and car decal courtesy of Children's Mercy.
Listen to Espinoza's full interview below and follow him on Instagram at @LuckyLefty_27.