The Full 90

Wizards player Roger Espinoza drinks in the World Cup experience

It’s hard to concentrate in a stadium of some 40,000 people, most blasting vuvuzelas. The cheering. The waving blue and white flags. It’s hard to take it all in.

But when Roger Espinoza stepped on the field June 16 for his first World Cup match, he was focused. As Espinoza’s team, Honduras, prepared to take on Chile, he blocked out the chaos and found quiet. And pressure.

Honduras has about as many residents as New York City, and most of their eyes this summer were trained on the country’s first World Cup team since 1982, four years before 23-year-old Espinoza, a Kansas City Wizards midfielder, was born. Espinoza and his teammates were beacons of pride amid the strain of life after a military coup.

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