CARSON, Calif. -- Oswaldo Minda was brought to Chivas USA to bring experience and stability to the Rojiblancos midfield. Through six matches, the Ecuadorian international has done all that. And more.
Since joining in the offseason from Deportivo Quito, Minda has performed as one of the top defensive midfielders in MLS. His physical presence and calm passing have solidified a resolute Chivas midfield. Last Saturday, Minda was at his finest as he commanded the Chivas midfield and tallied his first career MLS goal, a header off a corner kick from countryman Miller Bolanos that sealed the Rojiblancos 1-0 victory over Toronto FC.
For the tenacious Ecuadorian, his performance against TFC signaled the latest stage in his successful transition to MLS.
GOAL: Minda puts the Goats up at BMO
“Everything is good, I’m calm and happy, the important thing is that my goal was good for the team and we got the win,” Minda told MLSsoccer.com on Saturday after the victory over Toronto. “My transition [to MLS] is going pretty good, but obviously, we’re a team in transition. We have a lot of new players so the first or two games were difficult, but after that we’re getting in sync with ourselves and the coach so you can see the results.”
During the Rojiblancos’ recent success on the road, Minda has cut an imposing figure with his hard challenges and willingness to use his physical tools to stop opposition attacks. Between tussling with Real Salt Lake’s Kyle Beckerman or the Portland Timbers' Jack Jewsbury, Minda’s presence has been instrumental in helping Chivas win the midfield battle.
Minda’s bite in midfield is not without its drawbacks, though: He currently leads MLS in yellow cards (4), meaning that upon his next booking, the midfielder will face a one-match ban. Although Minda’s tenacity comes with some shortcomings, the Rojiblancos have been overjoyed with the Ecuadorian’s performance to date.
“As we look at him, we’re seeing the experienced veteran player that we were hoping to see,” head coach Robin Fraser told MLSsoccer.com on Saturday. “He’s been strong and a competitor and certainly he’s been a big part of us getting some good results recently.”
While the Rojiblancos and Minda have had success on the road, a victory at the Home Depot Center remains elusive. The Ecuadorian international will look to help Chivas earn their first victory at the HDC on Saturday against the Philadelphia Union, but after a string of successful performances Minda believes that he has found a home with Chivas.
“There is a lot of respect both ways of all the players and I feel like I’m at home, which is important because I can show how I perform on the field during the game,” said Minda. “By having that relationship and respect within the team, I can give more on the pitch.”
Adam Serrano covers Chivas USA for MLSsoccer.com. He can be reached at email@example.com.