Matches between the Houston Dynamo and Sporting Kansas City never grow dull as the physicality and competiveness of each club is almost always intensified when in contest with the other side. In the MLS regular season the two battled to a bizarre 4-4 draw at BBVA Compass Stadium in Houston that featured a highly controversial handball that had Jermaine Taylor sent off. Recently the two fought to a 1-1 draw at Sporting Park which featured a controversial red card to Nathan Sturgis and an obvious handball by Luis Garrido in the penalty box that was ignored. Simply put, it's entertaining when these two sides get together, but sometimes tempers can get too hot in the heat of the moment.
On July 21st, the Dynamo made their way to Sporting Park to play SKC in the Quarterfinals of the US Open Cup competition. As usual, tempers flared, words were exchanged, players shoved each other, and Roger Espinoza threw a punch at Dynamo Captain Brad Davis which went unseen by the officiating crew.
Davis and Espinoza each received yellow card cautions for getting their teams worked up and arguing, had Espinoza been sent off the teams would have been even at 10 v. 10 as Luis Garrido was sent off earlier for a nasty tackle in the 30th minute. Regardless of what could have or should have happened in that match, US Soccer has come in and landed on a two game suspension in US Open Cup competition for his actions in the micro-scuffle between the two sides.
Although Espinoza will likely miss the rest of the season following Nathan Sturgis's tackle that earned him a straight red card, Espinoza's suspension will begin with Sporting Kansas City's August 12th Semifinal meeting with Real Salt Lake. Should SKC prevail against RSL and move on to the Open Cup Final against the winner of the Chicago Fire and Philadelphia Union Semifinal then he'll serve his suspension in the final game despite the injury. If Kansas falls to Real Salt Lake, his suspension will begin on Sporting KC's first match of the tournament next year.