Roger Espinoza returned to Sporting Kansas City from playing in the Gold Cup with Honduras. Espinoza did not play during the group stages but played in both elimination games for Honduras. In those two games Roger played more centrally than he has in the past. Normally with Sporting KC he plays at left back and for Honduras he has usually been in the midfield but still out on the left side.
In that more central role Roger showed some attacking flair helping create the opportunity that led to the goal in the game against Costa Rica. He nearly scored against Mexico in the last minute of regulation.
Sporting KC Manager Peter Vermes seemed pleased with how Espinoza played in the Gold Cup. “Roger looked really good. He was playing in a more advanced role. Playing in the midfield again which is the place where I could see him maybe getting some time with us going forward as well, just because of different looks and combinations of players, injuries and different things. It’s good to see how much of an impact he had in the game again in the last two games. In the games against Costa Rica and Mexico where he played in the midfield he did really well.”
Roger Espinoza spoke about returning from the Gold Cup
I’m back here and ready to be here. I t was definitely a good Gold Cup for our team. I got to play at the end as well, get my confidence back up. I think everybody here on our team had their confidence a little bit down with so many games on the road, so tired mentally. Since Ii left they have done very good, better than what we were doing before. I think it helped being at home, playing that couple games at home revived everybody.
Are you happy with how well Honduras did at the Gold Cup?
It was disappointing. We went out with our heads up, we knew we gave all we could against Mexico. It didn’t work out, at the end we could have won it, we just lost our concentration in the set pieces a little bit. Mexico’s forward was able to get a header and score but I thought the majority of the game it was a good game. It was back and forth and I think any team that scored was going to win it.
Has Honduras become a top three power in CONCACAF?
I think we’re there, after going to the last World Cup and now being here in the Gold Cup and taking third place I think that tells you everything. I think we showed that we’re one of the top three teams, that we can keep up with Mexico or the US. We didn’t get the US but we kept up with a very good team in Mexico. I think they are one of the best and it is going to be good to see the final between the US and Mexico.
Who is going to win the US – Mexico game?
I haven’t played against the US, I’ve played against Mexico and they have a very good team. I saw US against Jamaica and they looked good. The thing with the US, playing good, playing bad they always find a way to win the game. The game is in the US but it’s like playing in Mexico with so many Mexican fans there. I hope US wins to be honest. I play in this league and it makes the league look good if the US wins. I know some of the players so I hope they win.
In the last couple games you have played more of an attacking midfield role.
Both ways, when we had the ball attacking more and when we don’t have the ball, got to defend more, help the team. I like that role, I kind of played that role in college a little bit. Not so much defending but attacking. I think I can do it here in Kansas City. I was able to do it for the national team level, I think I can do it here. That just raises my confidence up to do it and if Peter gives me an opportunity there or wherever it is, all I want to do is help the team and want to get the results.
Coach said he might try you out in that role.
I hope so! I’m ready if he tries me out there I’m going to work hard for the team and I want to win a game here at home. It’s going to be exciting because it will be my home opener for me. I’m excited to see everything.