In this video screen shot, Roger Espinoza of Sporting Kansas City appears to punch the Houston Dynamo’s Brad Davis
Sporting Kansas City midfielder Roger Espinoza has been handed a two-game suspension by the US Open Cup Adjudication and Discipline Panel. This punishment stems from an incident that occurred during the Open Cup Quarterfinal match against the Houston Dynamo on July 21.
In the 67th minute of that match, Roger Espinoza and Dynamo captain Brad Davis began an argument as players prepared for a Kansas City free kick whistled by referee Ted Unkel. It escalated to a point where Espinoza appears to throw a punch, connecting with Davis’ face.
The incident was not seen by the referee but yellow cards were eventually distributed to each player as a fracas ensued and the two refused to stop arguing.
The suspension comes as Sporting Kansas City prepares for a crucial Semifinal at home against Real Salt Lake on August 12. Espinoza will then miss either the Open Cup Final or his club’s opening match of the 2016 US Open Cup tournament, whichever occurs first.
Ultimately, it was unlikely that Espinoza would play in any of the remaining matches of this year’s tournament due to a foot injury sustained against Houston in a league match on August 1. The injury, a left sesamoid fracture, was sustained from a red card challenge by Houston’s Nathan Sturgis and could sideline Espinoza for the remainder of the season.
Espinoza also picked up a one-game suspension from Major League Soccer’s Disciplinary Committee for a dangerous play in that same match. The ban arises from a second half play that saw Espinoza strike Houston goalkeeper Tyler Deric’s shin with the underside of his cleat.
Espinoza, a Honduran international, is best known for being the only player in soccer history to win the US Open Cup (Sporting KC, 2012) and the FA Cup (Wigan Athletic in 2012/13) in consecutive seasons.