After months of rumblings, Sporting KC midfield bulldog Roger Espinoza looks like he’s headed to play in the best league in the world, the English Premier League. Reports indicate that Wigan has grabbed the Honduran international, with only a few formalities left before the deal becomes final.
Espinoza’s stock really shot up after the Olympic games – and more specifically after the Honduras-Brazil game in which Roger contributed a goal and an assist before receiving a red card. As he walked to the tunnel the English crowd gave the ejected player a standing ovation.
After his Olympic success, though, Espinoza never quite got back into his top form. He battled a few injuries and missed several games for his club side.
So what does this mean for Sporting?
They recently cut holding midfielder Julio Cesar, so the only returning starting midfielder heading into next year is Graham Zusi. It looks all but certain that Uri Rosell will slide into Cesar’s spot, judging from the high praise the Spaniard received after the final game against Houston. Peterson Jospeh also seems to be up and coming but I’m a little more hesitant about him than I am about Rosell.
The post-season awards continue to pile up for SKC.
Last week Matt Besler was named MLS Defender of the Year, Graham Zusi is a finalist for MLS MVP, and White Puma Jimmy Nielsen is a finalist for Goalkeeper of the Year.
On top of that, Zusi, Aurelien Collin, Nielsen, and Matt Besler have been named to the MLS Best XI team. The four selections from one team ties the MLS all-time record.
Is it just me or do all these accolades serve to re-open the wound concerning how the season ended so disappointingly?
Nevertheless, it’s great to see the best defense in the league get some national love, and Zusi’s numbers this season certainly make him a deserving nominee for MVP. He won’t come close to winning it – Chris Wondolowski should run away with it – but hopefully Sporting’s string puller can build off this, gain some additional confidence, and really step up and be the midfield general that this team will need next season.