Sporting Kansas City's slim hopes of catching the San Jose Earthquakes for the Supporters' Shield took a bit of a hit on Monday as they announced that midfielder Roger Espinoza will miss 2-4 weeks with an ankle sprain. Espinoza suffered the injury during Sunday's 1-1 draw with the Columbus Crew and will also miss Honduras' upcoming World Cup qualifiers as a result.
Sporting KC doesn't play another league game until Oct. 20, so there's a chance he could be back by then. But that seems to be a bit of a stretch. Their final game of the season is on Oct. 24, by which time they could well be eliminated from Shield contention. The more likely scenario would seem to be that Espinoza simply rests up for the playoffs.
Although Espinoza's numbers are nothing to gawk at -- he has just two assists in 26 appearances -- he has been a beast in the center of the field for Sporting KC's high-pressure defense. He also turned in a standout performance for Honduras in the Summer Olympics, which has many speculating that the soon-to-be 26-year-old could be heading for Europe at the close of this season.