Sporting KC re-signs veteran MF Roger Espinoza to 1-year deal

Roger Espinoza
Posted at 9:39 AM, Jan 13, 2022
and last updated 2022-01-13 10:39:05-05

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Veteran midfielder Roger Espinoza has re-signed with Sporting Kansas City.

The club announced Thursday that Espinoza, one of the longest-tenured players in SKC history, had agreed to a one-year contract for the 2022 season.

Espinoza, a 35-year-old native of Honduras, has spent 12 seasons with Sporting KC, which has won three Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup titles and made nine MLS playoffs appearances during his tenure from 2008-12 and 2015-21.

No player has appeared in more Open Cup games (21) for the club, which won the tourney in 2012, 2015 and 2017 with Espinoza on the roster.

He ranks third in SKC history with 335 appearances, 295 starts and 26,143 minutes played, and fifth in career assists (43).

Espinoza, who also has 12 career goals, was selected to the 2012 MLS All-Star Game.

He led Sporting KC with 153 duels won and 50 tackles during the 2021 season.

Originally drafted No. 11 overall in 2008 out of Ohio State, Espinoza made 113 appearances and helped Sporting KC win a pair of conference titles before transferring to the English Premier League, where he played for Wigan Athletic for two seasons.

Espinoza returned to MLS and Sporting KC after having helped Wigan stun Manchester City 1-0 in the 2013 FA Cup Final at Wembley Stadium.

He’s also made 52 appearances for the Honduras Men’s National Team, playing in the 201 and 2014 FIFA World Cups and the 2012 London Olympics.

Espinoza also has been active in the community, supporting Sporting KC’s efforts around The Victory Project to help child cancer patients and working with Unbound to conduct soccer clinics in underserved parts of Honduras.

Espinoza, who grew up in Colorado, married Lo’eau LaBonta, a midfielder for the Kansas City Current, last fall.

Sporting KC heads to Arizona on Monday to begin a month-long training camp before kicking off the 2022 season on Feb. 27 at Atlanta United FC.