What's the one thing that might be more difficult than being a new player trying to integrate into the starting lineup? How about being an old player trying to learn a brand-new position?
While we appreciate the quality Ryan Smith, Stéphane Auvray and Jimmy Nielsen have brought to the team (and the goals Kei Kamara has scored), the Full 90's inaugural Best Player of the Week This Week Award goes to Roger Espinoza.
He was a monster against Colorado. He won several hard tackles, played several nice combos along the left side and generally kept Omar Cummings under wraps when he got the ball (and sometimes when he didn't).
The Honduran international spent most of last year stuck behind Claudio Lopez and searching for minutes in the midfield. This offseason, Peter Vermes and the Wizards rejected calls from the Honduran national coach to let him go find playing time on another team. It's very clear now why they didn't let him go.
He's brought stability to the left wing. He can attack and he can defend and he can run forever. Matt Besler started 2009 in this spot and Michael Harrington saw time there as well. But, as we've seen so far this year, both of those guys are better at more natural positions (centerback and right back, respectively).
So, let's give it up for Roger, who will also most likely serve as the only Wizard on a World Cup roster this year.*I'd like to apologize, this post was supposed to run Wednesday and just got lost in the ether. It is scheduled to run mid-week every week this season.