KANSAS CITY, Mo. – To put it mildly, Roger Espinoza has had a whirlwind 2010.
Over the past 10 months, the 23-year-old left back has played his way into the Honduran national team, solidified a starting spot at left back with the Wizards and started for his country at this summer’s World Cup in South Africa.
MLSsoccer.com sat down with Espinoza after practice this week to discuss his breakout season, plans for the future and even the fate of 17-year-old Honduran sensation Andy Najar.
WASHINGTON — Three weeks ago they dealt a hammer blow to Toronto’s playoff prospects by winning 1-0 at BMO Field. Last weekend, they stunned the red-hot Rapids with a surprising victory in Colorado.
Interim coach Ben Olsen claims the spoiler’s role has little value for his D.C. United squad – “I’m certainly not preaching that,” he said on Tuesday – but the Black-and-Red nonetheless seem to enjoy making life difficult for postseason-chasing opposition.
SEATTLE – On a Tuesday night in Seattle, the identity crisis and inferiority complex that has plagued the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup in recent years was nowhere to be found.
Some in MLS circles have called the tournament a waste of time and a second-rate competition. But those phrases were likely never uttered by the 31,311 fans at Qwest Field who did not budge from their seats for the Open Cup trophy presentation.
Still feeling that World Cup hangover? Never fear, because starting Friday is a week of FIFA action to sate your thirst for international fixtures.
And though the race to the MLS playoffs surges on, several league players have answered their country’s call.
The New York Red Bulls have had four of their players called up, including Mexico captain Rafa Márquez, who just last week penned a letter to the Federación Mexicana de Fútbol Asociación stating that he did not want to be called up until there was “a change in attitude” at Federation.
This weekend is an official FIFA international date, and several MLS players will be traveling to join their countries despite the league reaching a critical juncture. Some teams are going to lose four players; some teams won't lose any.
Which team is going to miss their international absentees most?
Teenagers have broken out in MLS in 2010, including Philadelphia's Danny Mwanga, who came in at #5 in the 24 Under 24. But none of the "kids" has impressed as much as D.C. United's crafty versatile attacker Andy Najar.
WASHINGTON — “Wrong-footed wingers,” attacking flank players like Lionel Messi and Arjen Robben who are eager to cut inside onto their stronger foot and create, have become a hot trend in modern soccer.
Wrong-footed fullbacks? Not so much.
WASHINGTON — The idea of building a team around a strong spine won’t win any points for originality. But if executed properly, it almost always brings results.
It doesn’t take much for D.C. United supporters to turn misty-eyed and nostalgic about their club’s effective central partnerships of the past, with names like Etcheverry, Harkes, Williams, Olsen and Gomez mentioned readily and reverentially.