WATCH: Roger Espinoza on World Cup
COLUMBUS, Ohio – Former Buckeye Roger Espinoza, who helped lead the Ohio State men’s soccer team to the 2007 national championship game, is among the 23 players named to the Honduran World Cup team’s roster, announced Tuesday. Espinoza, a current member of the Kansas City Wizards, is the first Ohio State soccer player to earn a roster spot for the world’s largest sporting event.
Espinoza earned his first cap for the Honduras National Team Jan. 22, 2009 in a 2-1 win over Belize and went on to score the game-winning goal in 1-0 victory over El Salvador in the UNCAF Nations Cup third-place match, his first goal for the national team. He then was named to the Honduran squad for the 2009 Gold Cup, scoring against Grenada and helping the team to a semifinal berth. Espinoza added another score for the National team against the United States in a Jan. 23, 2010 friendly.
Espinoza came to Ohio State after playing two seasons of junior college soccer at Yavapai College in Phoenix. He was named First Team All-Big Ten and second team all-region before earning a spot the NCAA College Cup All-Tournament Team with two spectacular performances in Cary, N.C. On the season, Espinoza contributed three assists and totaled three goals, including the first goal in the national championship game against Wake Forest to put the Buckeyes ahead, 1-0.
In the World Cup for the first time since 1982, Honduras will face Chile, Spain and Switzerland in World Cup Group H.
The Catrachos leave Friday for a training camp in Germany, then moves to Austria May 25. They will play exhibition matches against Belarus (May 27), South Korea (May 29), Azerbaijan (June 2) and Romania (June 5), then leave for South Africa June 8. The final list of players must be submitted to FIFA by June 1.