Following in the recent footsteps of Chivas USA teammates Ante Jazic and Juan Agudelo, midfielder Oswaldo Minda has been selected to the Ecuadorean National Team ahead of two important CONMEBOL World Cup Qualifiers. Ecuador will play Argentina in Buenos Aires June 2, and then play Colombia in Quito June 10. Ecuador are in a good position through three matches, as they are sitting in 4th place in the confederation table (the top four finishers advance to the World Cup, and the 5th place finisher plays a playoff with another confederation to advance). Argentina are currently in second place (although they've played four matches) and Colombia are currently in sixth place.
Minda is the only MLS player to be called up, as neither Toronto FC's Joao Plata or teammate Miller Bolanos made the cut. Ecuador's squad does have a large Mexican club contingent, however, as Christian Suarez, recently off a Mexican clausura title with Santos Laguna, gets the nod, as does CONCACAF Champions League winner Walter Ayovi of Monterrey. Of course, the biggest names are probably Club America's Christian Benitez and Manchester United's Antonio Valencia.Ecuador did not make the 2010 World Cup, but they did make the 2002 and 2006 editions. There is considerable optimism, but CONMEBOL may be the toughest confederation in the world, so qualification is far from assured.
Minda has 15 senior caps with Ecuador. Scott French of ESPN LA reported late last night on twitter that Minda will be available for Wednesday's match against the New York Red Bulls, but will leave the team after that and will miss Saturday's match against the Seattle Sounders.
Congrats to Oswaldo!
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