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Sporting KC midfielder Roger Espinoza announces retirement

Espinoza played 14 seasons in KC
Roger Espinoza
Posted at 11:55 AM, Jun 26, 2024

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Sporting Kansas City midfielder Roger Espinoza is retiring from professional soccer after 16 years, the club announced Wednesday.

Espinoza spent 14 seasons in Kansas City. He played from 2008-2012 and then returned from 2015-2023.

After his first stint with Sporting, Espinoza played abroad for two years with Wigan Athletic.

While overseas, he beefed up his resume with experience from the English Premier League, English Championship and UEFA Europa League.

Espinoza battled a leg injury in 2015 but bounced back, enjoying a career year in 2018, tying a career-high of goals scored in 2020 and receiving Sporting's 2022 Goal of the Year award.

He finished the 2023 campaign, his last season, with two assists in 31 appearances.

The star midfielder was born in Puerto Cortez, Honduras, raised in Denver, Colorado, and started his professional career in KC.

His accolades include MLS All-Star, FIFIA World Cup veteran and Olympian.

During his career with Sporting, he helped lead the team to three Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup titles and made 10 appearances in the MLS Cup Playoffs.

Sporting regards Espinoza as a “fan-favorite” known for his “fierce competitiveness," the club noted in a news release.

The seasoned veteran ranks second in club history with 399 appearances in all competitions.

Off the field, the club said Espinoza has a strong history of volunteering to support causes close to his heart, including soccer clinics in underserved parts of Honduras, Hurricane Eta relief and the Victory Project, Sporting’s philanthropic foundation.

In 2021, Espinoza married another Kansas City soccer star — Lo’eau LaBonta is a powerhouse on the Kansas City Current.

Espinoza’s retirement will be honored Saturday at Children’s Mercy Park before the team’s match against Austin FC. Kickoff is set for 7:30 p.m.