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Roger Espinoza on playing the 6 and his competitive wife Lo’eau LaBonta

“I wish I helped the team more. I took everything from that match.”

MLS: Real Salt Lake at Sporting Kansas City William Purnell-USA TODAY Sports

He’s a 35-year-old with a mountain of experience, but playing the holding midfield role is still pretty new to Roger Espinoza. He wasn’t caught off guard by having to play the 6 recently because if you aren’t versatile and ready for anything, you likely won’t be on Peter Vermes’ field anyway. He says he wished he had done better, but now he can use that “ammunition” to help turn things around for Sporting KC.

Roger is a clear leader in the clubhouse, often mentoring and being tough on younger players. What would he say to his younger self with the long hair and full Roger-face?

He recently married Lo’eau LaBonta of the Kansas City Current. She was once told by a coach to watch SKC and emulate a certain Honduran player. We talk about their competitive life at home and how they find the right balance away from soccer.

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