It has been speculated for a while but it appears it will finally happen. Sporting KC appears set to welcome back Roger Espinoza on Tuesday. It’s a move that has been rumored for months. Espinoza played with Sporting KC from 2008 until 2012. The Honduran joined Wigan Athletic, currently in the Championship, in January of 2013 on a free transfer.
After the 2014 World Cup in Brazil, Espinoza expressed his desire to return to Kansas City:
“Roger came twice to me and wanted to leave the club. He wanted to go back to Kansas,” Latics manager Uwe Rosler told BBC Sport this week.
“I think after he came back after the World Cup, he struggled to find an appetite for football.”–courtesy mlssoccer.com
After the three forgettable matches in Brazil for Honduras, Espinoza was mentally and physically exhausted according to Rosler:
“He was clearly off the pace and that was understandable in many ways – physically and also mentally – because when you work yourself up for four years to be at that mega tournament, nothing is bigger than this,” added the German coach.
“He came back and wanted to go back to Kansas, he was homesick. I said, ‘I can’t let you go Roger, not now,’ because at that point we didn’t have any players in the midfield.”–courtesy mlssoccer.com
His time at Wigan has been one to forget. He made 47 appearances and scored only two goals. He did however help lead Wigan to an upset win over Manchester City in the FA Cup Final in 2013. While he was in Kansas City, he appeared in over 100 matches and scored two goals. He was part of Sporting KC’s 2012 Lamar Hunt US Open Cup Championship team as well.
At the end of 2014, the speculation heated up again as you can see here in this tweet from Robb Heineman:
I know it is kind of vague, but it showed the wheels were in motion for Espinoza to leave Wigan. Then this past weekend Heineman tweeted out something else that was rather interesting:
Rumors are what they are, rumors. Nothing is ever official until the league and club make the announcement. With Sporting making the move to the Western Conference, it bothers me that they are bringing in a player of his caliber. Sporting is already dangerous with the likes of Matt Besler, Graham Zusi and Dom Dwyer.
If I am a Sporting KC fan, I am extremely excited about this move. It added depth to your already extremely talented team and makes your midfield even more dangerous.
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