Well, just a few hours after I mentioned the transfer rumor being revived, it became official. Ecuadorean midfielder Oswaldo Minda was officially announced as a Chivas USA signing this evening. He's the latest offseason acquisition for Chivas, who have also added winger Ryan Smith, full back James Riley, and potentially midfielder/forward Arturo Alvarez (no contract has been announced for him yet, however).
Minda is joining Chivas from Sociedad Deportivo Quito, which just won the Ecuadorean Serie A title. He is the second Ecuadorean on the current Chivas squad, along with Victor Estupinan. In addition to the title-winning pedigree, Minda is theoretically at his peak as a professional, at 28 years old, and looks to be ready to move onto a new challenge. While a move to the United States will represent a big change, coming to Chivas USA, with its commitment to a bilingual culture, could help him acclimate to the team and league.There's a video available on youtube that was compiled by his agents from a few years ago showing some of Minda's highlights. The video is extremely grainy at times, but you'll notice some national team highlights in addition to those from his clubs. Minda has been capped at the youth and senior levels by Ecuador. According to the press release from the team, he has 13 senior caps with Ecuador. It is a country with some talent, featuring Chucho Benitez in Mexico with Club America and Antonio Valencia with Manchester United, among others, but it does seem to be a country that is a step below the best countries in CONMEBOL. Still, having a decent level of competition bodes well for a new signing.
Minda's listed position is central midfielder, and his highlight video shows him playing a great deal on the wing. I'm not sure if he played on the wing back in the day or if he floated around the field to find space. Frankly, I'm okay with him floating around as long as he can help the club. He also looks like he might have some speed, which would be sorely needed for a very slow Chivas team in 2011.
On the downside, Minda looks very slight. Of course, slender guys can make it at the highest levels of soccer, and if he possesses a solid strength on the ball, his actual frame shouldn't be that important. Still, given the reputation that MLS is a very physical league, let's hope he has the skills to hang in a physically imposing style of play.
Hey, Chivas are trying to improve the squad, and that's what the fans have been asking for. Let's hope Minda is up to the challenge and can demonstrate his worth in a new situation. Welcome Oswaldo!
What do you think? Leave a comment below!