COLUMBUS, Ohio Former Ohio State midfielder Roger Espinoza has been called up by his native Honduras national team for its 2010 FIFA World Cup qualifying match against Trinidad and Tobago Saturday. Espinoza is currently playing for the Kansas City Wizards of Major League Soccer, but has been given leave to seek his fourth career national cap.
“It’s fantastic we are very proud of Roger and all that he has accomplished,” Ohio State head coach John Bluem said. “He has done very well with his club team and the Kansas City Wizards and now to continually represent his country on the international stage is a dream come true.”
Espinoza participated in three games with Honduras during the UNCAF Nations Cup 2009 in January. He helped the team secure a third-place finish after scoring his first international goal in the 30th minute vs. El Salvador in the consolation match.
In his second season with the Wizards, Espinoza tallied an assist in the club’s opener vs. Toronto FC last Saturday. He was picked 11th overall in the 2008 MLS SuperDraft by the Wizards, becoming the xth Buckeye to enter Major League Soccer. He made his MLS debut on April 9, 2008, against the New England Revolution and has played in 23 career games with four total assists.
Espinoza played two seasons of junior college soccer at Yavapai College in Phoenix before transferring to Ohio State for the 2007 season. He was named first-team All-Big Ten in 2007 and second-team all-region before earning a spot the NCAA College Cup All-Tournament Team with two spectacular performances in Cary, N.C. For 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.
Espinoza is the second Buckeye soccer play to be called up to a national team in the last year. Danny Irizarry was brought up by the Puerto Rican squad for three World Cup qualifying matches and earned his first cap in a 2-2 tie with Honduras last summer.
The current Buckeye squad is gearing up for its spring season, highlighted by the annual Connor Senn Memorial Game. The date of the game and details about the surrounding activities will be announced soon.