FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE – February 3, 2009
Midfielder Roger Espinoza Makes Honduras Roster for World Cup Qualifier Feb. 11 in Costa Rica
Espinoza Scored 1st International Goal Sunday in UNCAF Nations Cup 3rd Place Match
(February 3, 2009) – Kansas City Wizards midfielder Roger Espinoza will remain with the Honduras National Team for a World Cup Qualifier next Wednesday, Feb. 11 at Costa Rica. Espinoza earned his first appearance for his birth nation Jan. 22 in Honduras’ first game of the 2009 UNCAF (Central American Football Union) Nations Cup. Espinoza appeared three times during the five-game tournament, including his first career start Sunday. Espinoza scored the game’s lone goal, his first in international play, as Honduras defeated El Salvador 1-0 to finish in 3rd place. Honduras qualified for the CONCACAF Gold Cup held this summer by finishing in the top 5.
Espinoza will become the 5th current Wizards player with World Cup Qualifying experience should he enter next Wednesday. Defender Jimmy Conrad, midfielder Davy Arnaud and forward Josh Wolff have all appeared in at least one qualifier for the United States. Striker Claudio Lopez has appeared in qualifiers for Argentina. Conrad, Lopez and Wolff also have World Cup experience.
Kansas City selected Espinoza with the 11th overall selection in the 2008 MLS SuperDraft after he signed with MLS as a member of the Generation adidas program. As part of the program, adidas pays for him to continue his education while playing in the League. During his first year with the Wizards, Espinoza scored one goal and added three assists in 22 games (12 starts). He was among the rookie leaders in games played, minutes played and assists.
Honduras has a busy international schedule ahead in 2009, with ten games in World Cup 2010 qualifying. They will also compete in the CONCACAF Gold Cup July 3 – 26 on U.S. soil.
Honduras Roster for Feb. 11 World Cup Qualifier:
Goalkeepers: Noel Valladares, Jhonn Bodden
Defenders: Mario Beata, Emilio Izaguirre, Víctor Bernárdez, Osman Chávez, Bonieck García, Maynor Figueroa, Iván Guerrero
Midfielders: Ramón Núñez, Hendry Thomas, Emil Martínez, Róger Espinoza, Amado Guevara, Mariano Acevedo, Marvin Chávez, Mario César Rodríguez
Forwards: David Suazo, Carlos Will Mejía, Saúl Martínez, Walter Martínez