Saturday, September 27, 2014

Could Espinoza Return to Sporting?

Last night during KC's 3-2 loss to the New England Revolution, ESPN analyst, Taylor Twellman made the above tweet. Normally this sort of Tweet would just be looked over and people would move on. But Twellman is becoming notorious for breaking news about MLS, including Michael Bradley's return to MLS and Landon Donovan's retirement, so when Twellman says something about an MLS team or potential news, people should listen.

That's why I'm not immediately bypassing this Tweet from Twellman, him saying something like this has me thinking that there's more than a little truth to that move potentially happen.

Roger Espinoza moved to Wigan Athletic, then in the English Premier League in the January 2013 transfer window on a free transfer after his contract with Sporting KC expired. Espinoza found some initial success at Wigan appearing 12 times for Wigan in the Premier League and also played in the FA Cup final that Wigan ended up winning over Manchester City. At the same time though Wigan was relegated to the Championship. In the Championship in the 2013-2014 season, Espinoza made just 19 appearances for the Latics as they qualified for the Championship playoffs, but did not make a return trip to the Premiership. Unfortunately this season has not gone as well so far for Espinoza, he's appeared in just one of Wigan's league games so far this season, as a substitute and started in Wigan's loss in the League Cup. It's gotten to the point where Espinoza has been relegated all the way to playing with Wigan's U21 side.

So a move by Espinoza wouldn't be the most surprising thing in the world once the next transfer window opens up, Espinoza has to be wanting to get himself more playing time and a move back to MLS would allow him that opportunity. And since Espinoza left Kansas City after his contract expired and Sporting made him a "bona fide" offer, Sporting retain his MLS rights so if he were to return to MLS, Sporting KC would have the first chance to sign him.

Espinoza would be able to slot right back into KC's midfield in the 2015 season. Paulo Nagamura, who has played mainly in Espinoza's role when he left has struggled with injuries the last two years and missed big chunks of time during the summer both years. He still provides a lot to KC as was evident last night, but turned 31 early in the season this year and made a base salary of $220,000 this season according to the Players' Union numbers. KC needs to probably start to look at a replacement for the Brazilian and from the games he's played Mikey Lopez doesn't appear to be that guy, at least not right now. And Espinoza fits that bill exactly, he's hard nosed and while not the same player as Nagamura who wears his emotions on his sleeve, he'll do the dirty work in the midfield that Nagamura does.

So we'll see if Twellman is once again on the money with news.

1 comment:

Christian Sinclair said...

I would really like to see this, because I'm not really sure Claros or Lopez are really fitting in yet. Hoping they progress, but both seem invisible when they are out there and not in that weird double-speak type of invisible some soccer commentators somehow think is a good thing.