Roger Espinoza, part of Wigan Athletic’s famous 2013 FA Cup-winning side, has officially retired

He's an MLS legend but it you're a 'Tic, it's his time in blue and white you'll remember him for.

Danny Jones Danny Jones - 27th June 2024

Another member of Wigan’s FA Cup-winning side has decided to hang up their boots as Roger Espinoza has confirmed his retirement at the age of 37.

Espinoza’s most recent club was Sporting Kansas City, who he played for nearly 400 times across two different spells, but in between those two stints, he was part of the famous Wigan team that managed to beat a then resurgent Manchester City in the 2013 FA Cup final.

Now 11 years on, the former Honduran international has revealed that he is calling time on his storied career following the conclusion of the 2023 American season.

As confirmed in an official club announcement, the number 11 will be honoured with a special pre-match ceremony at the home ground of Children’s Mercy Park before their game against Austin FC, along with a fireworks show immediately following the game.

Widely considered not just a footballing veteran but a legend of the league, he goes down as the player with the second-most appearances in Sporting KC history, winning three US Open Cup titles and helping carry them to 10 Audi MLS Cup Playoff appearances.


His time in Greater Manchester, however, was relatively fleeting; the midfielder went on to become somewhat of a utility player throughout his career after joining the Latics halfway through the season but was quickly thrown into the first team through necessity.

Following injuries to Maynor Figueroa and Jean Beausejour, Espinoza was deployed as a left wing-back under Roberto Martínez in that FA Cup final over a decade ago which proved to be a big shock and remains Wigan‘s only major trophy. He played for 42 games before leaving in December 2014.


Having racked up a total of 455 appearances all told – not including his caps for Honduras (52), who represented at two World Cups and even at the Olympics – scoring 17 goals and notching 49 assists, his playing career spans two decades and has already begun the transition into coaching.

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Paying tribute to his long-standing teammate and mate nicknamed ‘Lucky Lefty’, fellow Kansas City legend Graham Zusi was one of countless who paid tribute to Espinoza on social media, writing: “What a human. Ultimate teammate, leader, competitor and friend. Congrats, hermano!”

Roger Espinoza’s retirement also means that there are now just four surviving members of that 2013 FA Cup-winning side: James McCarthy, Callum McManaman, Jordi Gómez and goalkeeper Joel Robles.


Meanwhile, then-manager Martínez is in charge of the Portuguese national team competing at Euro 2024 as we speak, and ex-Wigan talisman Shaun Maloney is still at the club only now as the head coach himself, and has been in post since January 2023.

Any excuse for the ‘Tics to watch it back, eh?

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Featured Images — Andy Witchger (via Flickr)/Wigan Athletic (via X)