Originally named one of seven alternates to the squad by Ecuador coach Reinaldo Rueda last month, Minda was not expected to be headed to the World Cup, especially considering he was not part of La Tri's training camp and friendlies ahead of the tournament. But because midfielder Segundo Castillo picked up a knee injury in a collision with Luis Montes in Ecuador's friendly against Mexico last week (one that knocked Montes out of the World Cup as well with a badly broken leg), Rueda called in Minda to replace Castillo.
Obviously, it's not great news to see another player go down with an injury, especially so close to the big event, but it's great news for Minda, who will be the second current Chivas USA player at this World Cup, along with winger Marvin Chavez with Honduras. Coincidentally, Ecuador and Honduras are in the same group, and will play each other June 20.
Presumably, Castillo would have been a starter for Ecuador. Does that mean Minda will step up directly into the lineup at holding mid? Probably not, though one never knows. He also had been in the wilderness, so to speak, for his national team before getting the surprise alternate selection from Rueda, so my hunch is that he comes in as depth. But again, we'll have to wait and see to find out.
Ecuador's first Group E game will be June 15 against Switzerland. Congratulations to Oswaldo on the selection, and best of luck in Brazil!
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