Ecuadorian midfielder Oswaldo Minda was Chivas USA's second-longest tenured player on the current roster when the curtain came down on Monday for the club. Joining ahead of the 2012 season as a Designated Player, Minda gained a reputation as a destroyer in midfield, bolstered by the fact that he led the league in yellow cards in two of his three seasons with the Goats (though, it's worth noting, just a single red card in that span).
The 31-year-old had a pretty important year, especially for his national team, and he spoke exclusively to The Goat Parade after the game on Sunday, through a team translator, about that, Chivas' final season, and where he would like to play moving forward.
"We would love to have finished the season in a different way, trying to get to the final and being the hero of [MLS Cup]. Unfortunately, the team lacked a little more time to work together, and ultimately, that's what's hurt us," Minda said, reflecting on Chivas USA's 2014 season.
And although it won't happen now, Minda seemed to believe in the project Wilmer Cabrera and his coaching staff put together, and had hope for the future, if there was a chance the team would stay in business for 2015.
"[This season] we had a good technical staff, obviously they also needed time to work," he said. "Today I believe that this club has the foundation of the players that they need. And it would be important to keep that core group in order to continue building up from there, should the team remain playing [next] season."
One of the biggest surprises, perhaps, was Minda getting a late call-up to Ecuador's 23-man World Cup squad when another player went down due to injury, and the CUSA player started La Tri's final two group stage games, with the team picking up four points in those matches. Minda reflected on the season, but so soon after the final game, was perhaps not quite ready to take full stock of his year.
"I had a good season. I also had the opportunity of experiencing a World Cup, and in spite of where we have ended the season, it has been a very productive year, and a very important year for me," he said.
Minda did, however, speak freely about his contract status and his preference for his playing future.
"My contract ends at the end of the year, on December 31, and so we'll see at that time, it will be time for me to decide whether we get to stay, if I get an offer to stay, or I get let go.
"And obviously for me personally, I would love to stay. I think this league is a tremendous league to play in, very competitive and attractive. I also have personal ties, with my kids born in America, as United States citizens."
It's a shame of sorts that Minda never played on a Chivas USA playoff team, since he was certainly the most consistently underrated player on the club, and arguably among the most underrated around the league. Moving forward, we'll see if Minda gets a chance to lift MLS Cup one day.
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