Embroiled in a scoreless affair against FC Cincinnati on Wednesday night, Sporting Kansas City needed a spark at Nippert Stadium.
Veteran Roger Espinoza provided exactly that, coming off the bench at halftime to score an all-important goal as Sporting emerged 1-0 victors on the road to clinch a berth in the 2020 Audi MLS Cup Playoffs.
MLSsoccer.com took notice of the hard-working midfielder's contributions today, giving Espinoza a bench spot on the MLS Team of the Week presented by Audi.
Espinoza played the final 45 minutes on Wednesday and delivered a moment of magic on 57 minutes, receiving a clever cutback from Alan Pulido and slotting low past Cincinnati goalkeeper Spencer Richey. The goal was all Sporting would need to secure three precious points in the heated race for first place in the Western Conference.
Espinoza's 11th career MLS goal highlighted a strong second-half cameo that saw the Honduran almost bag his first brace in a Sporting uniform, only for Richey to make an excellent save in the late stages.
Currently occupying second place in the West with 1.8 points per game, Sporting will aim to secure a home playoff game and a top-four finish by posting a win or a draw on Sunday against Minnesota United FC. The regular season home finale at Children's Mercy Park will kick off at 6:30 p.m. CT with tickets available at SeatGeek.com and live coverage on FOX Sports Kansas City, FOX Sports Midwest, FOX Sports GO, ESPN 94.5 FM and La Grande 1340 AM.