Monday, October 08, 2012

Espinoza Out 2-4 Weeks

A big blow today for Sporting KC in their run in towards the end of the season, but an even bigger blow to Honduras, Sporting KC midfielder Roger Espinoza is set to miss the next two to four weeks recovering from a right ankle sprain suffered in stoppage time of KC's 1-1 draw with Columbus yesterday.  Going towards goal shortly after Columbus equalized, Espinoza went down going towards a ball with goalkeeper Andy Gruenebaum and a Crew defender.  Espinoza stayed down and had to be subbed out.  From what we've seen of Espinoza I'd expect him back on the short side of that range, but it also wouldn't surprise me if he doesn't play the final two regular season games so he's fresh for the playoffs.  The injury likely brings a close, at least for the time being, to Graham Zusi playing the wing forward position.  I'd expect Zusi to slot back into the midfield in front of Julio Cesar and Paulo Nagamura, and Jacob Peterson or Bobby Convey coming into the starting 11 to play the forward role.  If Peter Vermes didn't want to mess with his front 3, he could always look to insert Peterson Joseph or Oriol Rosell into the midfield position, or even have Convey play in that midfield position, which he's done a little bit this season.

The injury is a bigger loss for his national team, Honduras, who have 2 very big World Cup qualifiers coming up during the upcoming international break.  Honduras plays in Panama on Friday before hosting Canada on Tuesday the 16th.  The Canada match is going to be the bigger one most likely as those Honduras seems set to fight Canada for the second spot from their group that gets into the Hex next year.  Losing a player of Espinoza's caliber is going to be a big blow to Honduras.  In US terms though, I'd rather the US play in Canada than have to go down and play a game in Honduras. 

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