Roger Espinoza is being released by Wigan Athletic, clearing the way for him to rejoin Sporting Kansas City in January. The move to bring Espinoza back will not be a surprise. It has been hinted, rumored and outright hoped for by Sporting KC president Robb Heineman.
Both the BBC and Wigan Today are reporting that Wigan manager Malky Mackay has agreed to let Espinoza go in order to return to the United States. Since Espinoza left on a free transfer, Sporting KC owns the rights to him within MLS.
As Sporting KC fans know, Heineman loves to drop hints and clues (and sometimes just troll). Late Monday evening, Heineman just tweeted "1/6" around the time the first reports of Wigan allowing Roger to leave were starting to come out. That may be the date the release is official or the date Sporting KC announces they have re-signed him, or perhaps both.
1/6— Robb Heineman (@RobbHeineman) December 30, 2014
The Wigan Today report indicates that Espinoza may play in the Championship match with Sheffield Wednesday as a farewell gesture.
Strengthening the midfield
Sporting KC could have certainly used the Honduran midfielder last season with all the injury woes but of course he would have been gone during the World Cup as well. Espinoza did play left back for Sporting KC before solidifying the destroyer role in midfield and having that versatility in 2014 would have been very useful.
While Espinoza could have played on the back line, his best results have certainly been in the midfield, breaking up attacks and being a constant physical presence.
Espinoza partners well with Jorge Claros on the Honduran national team but it will be interesting to see where manager Peter Vermes places the pieces he currently has.
UPDATE: It looks like Roger is close to a deal with Sporting KC and would be in preseason camp, according to Sam McDowell.
Roger Espinoza is close to an agreement to return to #SportingKC, according to sources. Espinoza would be in preseason camp next month.— Sam McDowell (@SamMcDowell11) December 30, 2014