CARSON, Calif. - When Chivas USA lost to the LA Galaxy last month, Oswaldo Minda could do nothing about it. Sidelined with a shoulder injury, the Ecuadorian international was helpless to fight for his team.
That could change on Sunday.
Minda returned to full training this week and Chivas head coach Robin Fraser told MLSsoccer.com that there is a possibility to see Minda involved in Sunday’s SuperClasico (11 pm ET, ESPN2, live chat on MLSsoccer.com).
“He’s coming along well,” Fraser said. “His strength seems to be improving. He’s had some contact the last couple of days.”
Just what the midfield might look like is anyone’s guess, though. With recently acquired veteran Shalrie Joseph a likely starter, Fraser also has stalwarts Nick LaBrocca and Ben Zemanski available. With Minda's return, the fight for playing time in the middle of the field could become even more contested than it has already been this season.
Easing Right In
After arriving in Southern California late Sunday, Joseph was immediately thrust into the mix and started training with his new team. Despite not having played with any of his new teammates in New England though there was not much fear that Joseph would take time to acclimate.
It has not.
Joseph will look to make his Chivas USA debut on Sunday, and if this week has been any indication, the veteran midfielder will look like he’s been with the Rojiblancos for quite some time.
“He’s an experienced guy who, the second he shows up is immediately into the competition and fighting every day in training and you see his quality right from the beginning,” Fraser said. “It’s been a pretty easy transition for him.”
Joseph has some connection to the coaching staff - he played with assistant coach Carlos Llamosa with the Revolution. But his new teammates have only been on the same training field as Joseph this week. They too have seen more than just a glimpse of his talents.
“He’s been great, fantastic. You can tell he’s a top-notch player,” Chivas defender Ante Jazic said. “He’s a good guy, a good leader, a good locker-room guy so he’s been a good addition.”
Cheering From Afar
Defender James Riley helped the Seattle Sounders win three consecutive US Open Cup titles, so it was only natural that he wanted to see his former team claim number four.
“My heart was there and I was rooting for them,” Riley said.
Sporting KC beat Seattle, though, and kept the Sounders from winning their fourth consecutive Open Cup title. That there were some controversial moments in the match was rather disappointing, he said.
“I thought it was a very well played final. You don’t want certain things affecting it that much and that drastically but it was very entertaining,” he said. “It’s disappointing but that’s life, that’s how it goes.”
What exactly did Riley think of the call during the penalty-kick shootout that wiped out a Sounders save and allowed Sporting KC - and former Chivas USA midfielder Paulo Nagamura - to retake a spot kick?
“I’ll save my comments for another time, [behind] closed doors,” he said.
Luis Bueno covers Chivas USA for MLSsoccer.com and can be reached by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.