Sporting KC midfielder Roger Espinoza announces retirement

KANSAS CITY, Mo. – Sporting Kansas City midfielder Roger Espinoza is retiring from professional football after 16 years, the club announced Wednesday.

Espinoza played fourteen seasons in Kansas City. He played from 2008-2012 and then returned from 2015-2023.

After his first spell at Sporting, Espinoza played abroad for two years at Wigan Athletic.

While abroad, he strengthened his resume with experience from the English Premier League, English Championship and UEFA Europa League.

Espinoza suffered a leg injury in 2015, but recovered quickly and had a top year in 2018. In 2020, he equaled the highest number of goals of his career and was named Goal of the Year 2022 by Sporting.

He finished the 2023 season, his final season, with two assists in 31 appearances.

The star midfielder was born in Puerto Cortez, Honduras, grew up in Denver, Colorado, and started his professional career with KC.

His accolades include MLS All-Star, FIFIA World Cup veteran and Olympian.

During his career with Sporting, he helped the team to three Lamar Hunt US Open Cup titles and made ten appearances in the MLS Cup Playoffs.

Sporting considers Espinoza a “fan favorite” known for his “fierce competitiveness,” the club said in a press release.

The seasoned veteran is second in club history with 399 appearances in all competitions.

Off the field, the club said Espinoza has a strong history of supporting causes close to his heart, including football clinics in deprived parts of Honduras, Hurricane Eta relief and the Victory Project, Sporting’s philanthropic foundation.

In 2021, Espinoza married another Kansas City football star: Lo’eau LaBonta is a powerhouse on the Kansas City Current.

Espinoza’s retirement will be celebrated Saturday at Children’s Mercy Park prior to the team’s match against Austin FC. The kick-off is scheduled for 7:30 PM