CARSON, Calif. – If Chivas USA are going to stop MLS leading scorer and San Jose Earthquakes star Chris Wondolowski on Sunday (7 pm, Galavsion), they’ll have to do without Oswaldo Minda.
The tenacious Ecuadorian (above, right) has been a mainstay in Chivas’ lineup this season, making nine starts while providing a physical presence and smooth passing to the club’s midfield. But he’ll skip the team’s matchup at Buck Shaw Stadium while serving a one-game suspension for yellow-card accumulation.
“Obviously it changes things, because he’s been in every game so far, so certainly it’ll be a little bit of a different look,” head coach Robin Fraser said. “But that’s why you have a team and you have a team of good players. Anything can happen on any given day and on this particular day, he’s suspended.”
With Minda out, Fraser has a number of selections to replace him in the midfield. Veteran defensive midfielder Pete Vagenas, playmaker Blair Gavin or even winger Mike Lahoud are options for the Rojiblancos boss to call upon against San Jose.
The Ecuadorian’s replacement and the rest of the Rojiblancos will have a tall order this weekend as they look to slow down Wondolowski, who currently leads MLS with 11 goals, including three goals in his last two matches.
“He’s a guy that right now, everything goes his way,” striker Juan Pablo Ángel said. “He’s hot, he’s full of confidence, and he’s very intelligent he knows where to go up and where the spaces are and he’s finishing his chances. Any striker will tell you that in that kind of form, you got to make the most of that moment because it’s great. He’s been hot and he’s been helping the team.”
Adam Serrano covers Chivas USA for MLSsoccer.com. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.