Sporting Kansas City will be without one of their midfield mainstays for the stretch run.
Sporting announced on Thursday that midfielder Roger Espinoza suffered a bone fracture in his left foot in the team’s 1-1 draw against the Houston Dynamo last Saturday and is expected to miss at least 10 weeks while recovering from the injury. The injury occurred on an 86th-minute tackle by the Dynamo’s Nathan Sturgis, who was shown a straight red card for the challenge (see above).
Espinoza was handed a one-game suspension on Wednesday by the MLS Disciplinary Committee for a separate incident in which he was ruled to have endangered the safety of an opponent.
“It’s obviously disappointing news, but I’m going to continue to work with our athletic training staff to come back healthy for the club’s playoff run,” Espinoza said in a statement released by the team. “All I can do now is focus on my rehab and be the best teammate that I can be.”
Espinoza returned to Sporting Kansas City this offseason after spending two years with Wigan Athletic in England. He’s made 17 league appearances – all starts – in 2015, scoring one goal and adding four assists for Peter Vermes’ side.
If he remains on a 10-week timeline, Espinoza should near a return some time in mid-October. Sporting, who currently sit in fourth place in the crowded Western Conference and host a US Open Cup semifinal against Real Salt Lake next week, close out the regular season with matches at San Jose on Oct. 16, against Colorado on Oct. 21 and against LA on Oct. 25.