Espinoza only MLS player called to Honduras' GCup roster
Andy Najar didn’t make the cut. Nor did Marvin Chávez. But Roger Espinoza did.
The Sporting Kansas City midfielder/defender is the lone MLS representative on Honduras’ 23-man roster for next month’s CONCACAF Gold Cup, which was announced by manager Luis Fernando Suárez on Friday.
Espinoza is among 13 holdovers from Honduras’ 2010 World Cup squad, which went winless in Group H against Switzerland, Chile and eventual champions Spain. Among the other veterans from South Africa are former FC Dallas and Chivas USA star Ramón Núñez, Tottenham Hotspur midfielder Wilson Palacios and Wigan Athletic defenders Maynor Figueroa and Hendry Thomas.
The news will come as a disappointment to D.C. United starlet Najar, who expected to receive a call-up after making the decision last month to declare for his birth country rather than his adopted US. FC Dallas winger Chávez, after helping Honduras to the Copa Centroamericana title in January, was also omitted.
Honduras are grouped in a tough Group B for the Gold Cup, along with Guatemala, Jamaica and Grenada. Los Catrachos open play against their Central American neighbors on June 6 at The Home Depot Center in Carson, Calif. They’ll play a warm-up friendly against El Salvador in Houston on May 29.
FULL HONDURAS ROSTER:
Goalkeepers: Orlin Vallecillo (Marathón/Honduras), Donis Escober (Olimpia/Honduras), Noel Valladares (Olimpia/Honduras)
Defenders: Osman Chávez (Wisla Krakow/Poland), Óscar Bonieck García (Olimpia/Honduras), Maynor Figueroa (Wigan Athletic/England), Hendry Thomas (Wigan Athletic/England), Mauricio Sabillón (Marathón/Honduras), Brayan Beckeles (Vida/Honduras), Víctor Bernárdez (Lierse/Belgium), Jhonny Leverón (Motagua/Honduras)
Midfielders: Ramón Núñez (Leeds United/England), Roger Espinoza (Sporting Kansas City), Wilson Palacios (Tottenham Hotspur/England), Emilio Izaguirre (Celtic/Scotland), Alfredo Mejía (Real España/Honduras), Eder Delgado (Real España/Honduras), Javier Portillo (Olimpia/Honduras), Emil Martínez (Marathón/Honduras)
Forwards: Eddie Hernández (Platense/Honduras), Carlo Costly (Atlas/Mexico), Jerry Bengtson (Motagua/Honduras), Walter Martínez, (Beijing Guoan/China)