Denver's Roger Espinoza wins FA Cup with England Premier League's Wigan Athletic
Roger Espinoza is the one that got away - from the Colorado Rapids, the U.S. Men's National Team, and Major League Soccer.
The graduate of Regis Jesuit High School, who also attended Denver South HS for two years, achieved another feather in the cap on Saturday when helped Wigan Athletic win the FA Cup with a 1-0 upset of Manchester City at England's famed Wembley Stadium. Espinoza played the full 90 minutes.
The dramatic game-winner came in the 90th minute as Ben Watson headed home the only goal of the game. It's the first FA Cup in Wigan's 81-year history.
The FA Cup title is the latest in what has already been stellar career for the 26-year-old Espinoza.
Born in Honduras in 1986, Espinoza moved to Colorado when he was 12 years old and became a U.S. citizen when he was 21. After high school he attended and played at Yavapai (Ariz.) College before transfering to The Ohio State University. He led the Buckeyes to the 2007 NCAA College Cup final, scoring the lone goal in the 2-1 loss to Wake Forest.
Sporting KC then selected Espinoza as the 11th overall pick in the 2008 MLS SuperDraft. The Rapids had drafted Ciaran O'Brien with the fifth pick.
Two years later he started two of Honduras' three matches at the 2010 FIFA World Cup in South Africa.
In 2012 he was one of three overage players on Honduras' Olympic team at the London Games. Espinoza scored one and assisted on the other in the 3-2 Quarterfinal loss to Brazil - however he left to a standing ovation and had opened more eyes overseas.
He was named an MLS All-Star and in August helped Sporting KC win the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup over Seattle on penalty kicks in a controversial title match.
With his contract expiring at the end of 2012, Espinoza moved to Wigan in the January 2013 transfer window after five seasons in MLS.
He is believed to be one of the few players to have won the domestic trophy in the USA and England inside 12 months.
Wigan and Espinoza now turn their focus back on the Premier League as they look to avoid relagation with two matches remaining. They play at Arsenal (Tues., May 14) and host Aston Villa (Sun., May 19). Wigan are currently third-from-bottom in the EPL, three points from safety.
Full video highlights of the FA Cup final are available below.