Umaña's switch on back line feels right for Chivas USA
CARSON, Calif. – Michael Umaña has been the consummate professional for Chivas USA this season, playing every role that has been asked of him.
Now with the Rojiblancos' season nearing an end, he's been asked to play another.
Umaña has moved to right back as the club deals with inconsistent play along that flank. The move was a new challenge for Umaña, who had played the position only sparingly during his career, but one in which he's been able to excel.
“It's not my natural position being on the right side, but it's a technical decision and I need to play that role,” he said. “I've been there a few times this year and although it's new, I'm always trying to do my best.”
The defender's consistent play has led to his continued inclusion in Costa Rica's national team. After being a squad regular under former coaches Ricardo La Volpe and Ronald González, new manager Jorge Luis Pinto called up Umaña for the Ticos' high profile match against Brazil on Oct. 7.
Umaña is not the only member of Chivas USA heading on international duty as Alejandro Moreno (Venezuela) and Ante Jazic (Canada) will each be playing in World Cup qualifiers for their respective nations.
Although all three are veterans of the international game, Umaña admits that the transition from club to country is a challenging one.
“It's hard especially when you have to travel and switch from one coach to another, but the adjustment to different ideas is part of the process,” Umaña said.
After Umaña returns from his time with Los Ticos, he will join the Rojiblancos in midst of their preparations to take on his former club, the LA Galaxy, on Oct. 16. Umaña spent one season with the Galaxy, back in 2005 when LA pulled off the double, winning MLS Cup and the US Open Cup.
“This is another very difficult game, but we will fight to the end. You have to work very hard,” Umaña said. “It's the clásico, and we will play that game with the greatest responsibility, until the last minute.”
Adam Serrano covers Chivas USA for MLSsoccer.com, he can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.