Umaña's Goal vs. Puebla a Bittersweet Experience

The Costa Rican wishes he could have done more to affect the game's outcome

Michael Umaña

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In the 85th minute of Thursday evening’s 2010
SuperLiga game against Mexican First Division side Puebla FC, Chivas USA center-back
Michael Umaña did something he has only done five other times in his
professional career; he scored a goal.

In most circumstances, such an event would be cause to
celebrate. But with the Red-and-White falling 2-1 to their Mexican rivals; the
sixth goal of Umaña’s career didn’t have quite the same punch that it could
have had the result been different.

 “It’s bittersweet,”
said Umaña of his first goal with Chivas USA. “I’m happy to have gotten a
goal for the team, but I’m sad that we weren’t able to end the night with a
victory. We had some good chances on net, but we just couldn’t seem to make it
happen.”

Umaña has become a staple of the Chivas USA backline.

The 28-year-old has been given the starting nod in every
game for the Goats so far this season, making 15 starts for a total of 1,337
minutes. His leadership at the back was invaluable during the month of June
when team captain Jonathan Bornstein was at the World Cup, and his international
experience is certainly a plus against skillful foreign teams like Puebla.

“Puebla
is a really good team,” said Umaña. “They’re very strong technically and they
play a good system. They were the better team against us. We made two mistakes
and they punished us for them.”

Umaña had been paired with fellow Costa Rican international
Darío Delgado for much of the season before young Colombian Yamith Cuesta was
handed a place in the starting XI against Austin
two weeks ago.

“Both guys are great players,” said Umaña of Delgado and
Cuesta. “They’re both strong at the back. [Cuesta] and I getting better game by
game. Our understanding has improved even since we started playing together as
a pair.”

“There’s good competition for spots in our lineup and that
helps to raise the level of play,” he continued. “There’s no place for any of
us to get lazy because there’s a good player waiting to take our place, and
that’s a good thing.”

Umaña will have to put his partnership with Cuesta on hold
for Sunday’s game against Pachuca,
as Cuesta was handed a red card in the dying minutes of Thursday’s match. But
with Umaña’s experience and leadership, whoever fills in will surely feel right
at home.