Chivas USA have added yet another piece to the puzzle for next season, signing Ecuadorian midfielder Oswaldo Minda from Deportivo Quito on Wednesday.
Although the move seemed to be a certainty in recent weeks due to Minda’s comments about Chivas’ interest in the Ecuadorian media, the tenacious two-way midfielder had to fight his way onto the Goats' radar initially.
“I went to Ecuador to look at a couple of players, and I actually went to watch a player on his team as Deportivo Quito has quite a few interesting players,” Chivas USA head coach Robin Fraser told MLSsoccer.com in a phone interview on Thursday. “But as the game wore on, I kept watching this one particular central midfielder, who was an extremely dominating player. Defensively, he was so engaged, he was in such good spots, he broke up so many attacks and he was very good from the attacking side of things as well.
“As the game wore on, he just stood out more and more, so I thought, 'This is a player who would be good for us.'”
The 28-year-old Ecuadorian is the third addition of the offseason for the Rojiblancos; they also acquired the rights to winger Ryan Smith and forward Arturo Alvarez last month.
Minda joins an already deep Chivas USA midfield that boasts considerable talent, including 2011 MLS All-Star Nick LaBrocca and US Olympic hopeful Jorge Villafaña. Having excelled in a deep midfield role for Deportivo Quito, Fraser expects Minda to have an immediate impact.
“I think that he’ll be a solid central midfielder for us,” said Fraser. “He’s got the ability to play as a true holding midfielder as a two-way midfielder. He’s played as a wide midfielder in some points in his career, but he’s a true central midfielder, who will help stabilize the middle of the field for us.”
Minda brings a winning pedigree to Chivas after spending four years with Deportivo Quito, leading Los Chullas to three Serie A titles. His play for Deportivo earned him a spot on the Ecuadorian national team, and the midfielder has made a total of 14 appearances for La Tri.
For a club that has been scouring the globe looking for players that can concentrate over 90 minutes, Minda just may be what Fraser has been looking for.
“For me, it was the first thing that I noticed about him was that he was unbelievably focused and engaged,” said Fraser. “He’s very much a switched on player and his ability to recognize what is dangerous defensively and deal with it was exceptional. Also, his ability going forward and his confidence going forward were just as good so the more I watched him, the more I was impressed.”
Adam Serrano covers Chivas USA for MLSsoccer.com. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.