Grateful Espinoza repaying Chivas with assists
CARSON, Calif. – On July 14 of this season, Chivas USA acquired Mexican midfielder Rodolfo Espinoza from Peruvian First Division side Universitario. He wasn’t a flashy signing by any means, just a hard-working creative attacker with seven years experience in the Mexican First Division.
Less than a month later, Espinoza has become a permanent member of the Goats starting lineup. The 29-year-old has notched three assists for the Red-and-White and has arguably been the team’s most potent offensive weapon over the course of the last four weeks.
“Espinoza keeps showing that he’s going to help us,” said Chivas USA head coach Martín Vásquez. “Once he knows a little bit more about MLS, he can help us even more. The expectations are high, and he’s responding on the field.”
What is perhaps most impressive about Espinoza’s arrival at The Home Depot Center is the ease with which he settled into life with Chivas USA. He took almost no time at all to adapt and was instantly successful on the pitch.
“Since the first day that I arrived here I’ve felt very comfortable with the team,” Espinoza said. “They’re a great group of guys and they’ve made me feel welcome since day one. I’ve tried to repay that by working really hard and learning my position as quickly as I could. I’m really thankful for the opportunity that Martín has given me and I’m just trying to give 100 percent.”
Espinoza notched his first assist for the Red-and-White against Puebla FC in this year’s SuperLiga. His second came just one match later against Houston in the same tournament. He added a third against Columbus last Saturday in the Goats’ 3-1 victory over the Crew.
“Getting these assists has given me a lot of confidence, but I know that there’s still a lot of work to be done as we move forward,” Espinoza said. “I’m really trying to work hard on the pitch, get into the play and help the team in every moment that I can.”
As the Goats move forward in search of their fifth consecutive playoff appearance, the team will be glad of Espinoza’s services. And the Mexican is happy to repay the opportunity that Chivas USA have given him, one assist at a time.
“If my job turns out to be supporting the team with assists, then that’s perfect,” said Espinoza. “It’s not easy to arrive at a new team and perform right away, but these guys have made me feel so welcome and given me a lot of support. They’re a really talented bunch and that inspires me to work even harder on my own game.”