Former Buckeye Roger Espinoza named to Honduran Olympic Team
June 22, 2012
Former Buckeye Roger Espinoza, who helped lead the Ohio State men's soccer team to the 2007 national championship game, is one of three overage players named to the Honduran Olympic team's roster, announced Thursday. Espinoza, a current member of the Kansas City Wizards and a World Cup veteran, is the first former Ohio State soccer player to earn a roster spot for the Olympic Games.
Espinoza came to Ohio State after playing two seasons of junior college soccer at Yavapai College in Phoenix. He was named First Team All-Big Ten and second team all-region before earning a spot the NCAA College Cup All-Tournament Team with two spectacular performances in Cary, N.C. On the season, Espinoza contributed three assists and totaled three goals, including the first goal in the national championship game against Wake Forest to put the Buckeyes ahead, 1-0.
From Sporting KC:
"It's very exciting and and something I hoped would happen in my career," Espinoza said. "The coach knows I am working really hard. I'm very happy and proud to be given the opportunity to represent Honduras."
Espinoza, 25, is one of three overage players selected by head coach Luis Suarez for the under-23 competition, along with Maynor Figueroa (Wigan Athletic) and Jerry Bengtson (Motagua).
Espinoza has made 25 appearances for the Honduras National Team at the highest levels, including the UNCAF Nations Cup, CONCACAF Gold Cup and FIFA World Cup. He most recently started and played the full 90 minutes in a scoreless draw at Canada in FIFA World Cup qualifying earlier this month.
Since being drafted in the first round of the 2008 MLS SuperDraft out of Ohio State, the Generation adidas product has two goals and 10 assists for Sporting Kansas City in five seasons. He played in his 100th regular season match on Wednesday and is one of six Sporting Kansas City players nominated for the 2012 AT&T MLS All-Star Game.
Honduras qualified for the London 2012 Olympic Games with a 3-2 victory over El Salvador in the CONCACAF Men's Olympic Qualifying Tournament semifinals at LIVESTRONG Sporting Park in March.
Honduras was drawn into Group D alongside Morocco, Spain, and Japan and will play in the opening match of the London 2012 Olympic Games on July 26. The top two teams in the group will then advance to the knockout stage en route to the final on August 11.