Sporting KC

Sporting KC has interest in bringing back midfielder Roger Espinoza

Sporting Kansas City and Roger Espinoza have mutual interest in reuniting, coach Peter Vermes said Wednesday, but a potential reunion with the midfielder, who spent five seasons with the club, is at least a few steps away.
Sporting Kansas City and Roger Espinoza have mutual interest in reuniting, coach Peter Vermes said Wednesday, but a potential reunion with the midfielder, who spent five seasons with the club, is at least a few steps away. The Kansas City Star

Sporting Kansas City and Roger Espinoza have mutual interest in reuniting, coach Peter Vermes said Wednesday, but a potential reunion is at least a few steps away.

Espinoza, who spent five seasons with Sporting KC, has seen a significant drop in playing time this season with Wigan Athletic, an English Premier League club he joined after the 2012 MLS season that has since been relegated to the Championship. Naturally, that’s sparked rumors of Espinoza’s eventual return to Kansas City.

While acknowledging that may be a possibility in the future, Vermes simultaneously shot down the notion that a deal is already in place.

“I’m here to tell you there’s no done deal,” Vermes said. “I’ve talked to Roger since he left, and we’re always talking about an opportunity for him if he ever comes back.”

Espinoza is under contract with Wigan through next summer. If he elects to return to the MLS, Sporting KC owns first right of refusal because it offered him a bona-fide contract and did not receive a transfer fee when he left.

“He would love to come back,” Vermes said. “I think from his perspective, if he’s come back to the MLS, he would love to come here.”

With Espinoza under contract, though, a return would either require a transfer fee to bring him back to Kansas City or the termination of his existing contract.

“There’s no reason for us to buy him,” Vermes said. “We wouldn’t go back out and buy him, especially when he’s not playing on a regular basis there. Why would we? It definitely would not be a smart business move, and I like to think we’re pretty good at that.”

To reach Sam McDowell, call 816-234-4869 or send email to smcdowell@kcstar.com. Follow him on Twitter: @SamMcDowell11.

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