San Jose Earthquakes Extend Espinoza's Contract Through 2025 MLS Season
The San Jose Earthquakes have recently extended forward Cristian Espinoza's contract as a Designated Player, ensuring his presence with the team until the 2025 MLS season, with a potential extension for 2026, according to an announcement made by the club on Monday.
Espinoza, an Argentine winger, has showcased exceptional performance this year, becoming a notable contender for the Landon Donovan MLS MVP award. With an impressive tally of 11 goals and seven assists in 23 regular-season matches, he earned a well-deserved spot on the 2023 MLS All-Star team, representing the Earthquakes in a thrilling exhibition against Premier League side Arsenal FC.
Chris Leitch, the Earthquakes' general manager, praised Espinoza's consistent productivity and esteemed status as one of the league's top players. Leitch highlighted Espinoza's remarkable ability to create scoring opportunities for his teammates, along with his increasing goal-scoring prowess each season. Moreover, he commended the winger's leadership qualities, both on the field and within the community.
Throughout his time with the Earthquakes, spanning from his arrival in 2019 from LaLiga's Villarreal, the 28-year-old Espinoza has achieved impressive numbers. He has secured 26 goals and an outstanding record-breaking 51 assists in 142 regular-season appearances, with 136 starts.
In recognition of his exceptional performances, Espinoza has been named to the Team of the Matchday presented by Audi six times this year and was awarded the title of MLS Player of the Month for April 2023.
Expressing his deep affection for the Earthquakes, Espinoza stated that he finds happiness on the field with the team and is excited to contribute to the club's progress in the future. He emphasized the strong bond he feels with the San Jose community, where his family is comfortable, and his children were born.
Currently led by head coach Luchi Gonzalez in their first season, the San Jose Earthquakes hold the sixth position in the Western Conference standings, with 32 points achieved from eight wins, seven losses, and eight draws. They are determined to secure a spot in the Audi 2023 MLS Cup Playoffs.