After the final whistle of Sporting Kansas City’s 0-0 draw against Real Salt Lake, The Blue Testament caught up with Roger Espinoza to ask him about the game, his new midfielder partner/competition in Gadi Kinda and where he sees himself after 2020.
2020 and Beyond
Espinoza is in the final year of a two-year extension he signed during the 2018 season. He, along with Matt Besler, signed a deal that will run out after 2020. We asked Roger if he was planning to stay with Sporting beyond this year.
“I hope so,” started Espinoza. “I’m already 33. I hope Sporting is thinking that way too. It’s the only club in the MLS that I have played for. I’m not really thinking about it but in the future you know, you’d like to stay at the club you started, the club that gave you the opportunity to become a professional. I’ve been in Kansas City over a decade. It’ll be nice to stay there. At the end of the day I guess I control that with my play. Once I do that and play well hopefully Kansas City comes through and works (inaudible).”
At the end of the quote it sounds like he says “works about it” but I have to assume he hopes they’ll give him a new contract.
Espinoza will turn 34 in October. And he is right that his play in 2020 will probably have a huge impact on if he’s brought back again. He made just over $800,000 in 2019 and is likely due around a five percent raise this season. If he continues to play well, even if it’s in a reduced role, I could see the team offering to bring him back at a lower salary.
Entering 2020, Espinoza has played in 238 games (217 starts) for 19,064 minutes. He’s put in eight goals, 35 assists and holds an MLS record with 11 red cards.
Espinoza also gave his insight on the game against RSL as well as his thoughts on Gadi Kinda, who has been lining up next to him with Felipe Gutierrez missing the last three preseason games.