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Espinoza on Sporting KC Future: “I’ve still got a lot to give”

Roger sits down for a multi-faceted interview, including on his plans to return in 2023.

MLS: Minnesota United FC at Sporting Kansas City Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

The Major League Soccer (MLS) offseason is moving at a bit of a slow pace. A big part of that is the league (rightfully) moving back the deadline for clubs to decide what options to pick up and to make their bonafide offers. While it makes for a bit of a slow news trickle after the season, it’s the right thing to do to not force teams to cut players just days (or a single day) after they are eliminated.

The new deadline is November 14th, according to the schedule MLS released.

One decision that Sporting Kansas City needs to be make is on midfielder Roger Espinoza. He is out of contract and is schedule to become a free agent. Espinoza just turned 36 in the last week and for years it has felt like people have expected him to retire. And while his minutes have declined, and Peter Vermes has been smarter about pulling Roger out of games earlier, his play has still been very solid as long as he’s subbed off timely.

The gentleman at No Other Pod had the chance to talk to Espinoza this past week and it’s pretty clear what he wants to do.

“I hope I’m back, but you never know,” said Espinoza

At the end of the interview, he circled back to the topic.

“I wasn’t expecting to start this year a lot, but my mentality was that I wanted to start,” began Espinoza. I was able to do that but at the same time I’m very happy for Felipe [Hernandez] and [Cam] Duke, and even Jake [Davis] played a little bit. I was very happy for them and I totally didn’t mind them playing. I always talk to them about it. I think those guys are coming along very good. Hopefully they can take my spot next year and say ‘hey Roger, you need to retire now.’ I always put myself, as you see, next year, next year, next year. That’s what I do, that’s what gives me a positive mentality that I need to play the next year and that’s how I keep playing I guess.”

Dan jumped in to say iron sharpens iron, but Roger got in the final word.

“Like I said, I’ve still got a lot to give and I was very competitive this year and if I get the opportunity next year I’ll still stay competitive,” ended Espinoza.

In many an article and podcast around The Blue Testament we said it was probably time to move on, but on a team friendly deal with further limited minutes, I can absolutely see this move happening.

Listen to the full interview from Dan and Jimmy with Roger Espinoza.