Cuesta brings physicality to Chivas backline
CARSON, Calif. – Chivas USA defender Yamith Cuesta paints an imposing picture in defense.
At 6-feet-3, he’s one of the two tallest players on the Goats roster while still maintaining an impressive agility on the ground. He’s fast, he’s physical – and he knows it.
“I bring a strong physical presence to the defense,” Cuesta told MLSsoccer.com after training on Tuesday morning. “When I am called on to play, I try to bring my physicality to the match and take advantage of my size to help the team.”
Cuesta made just his second start all season against Colorado on Saturday evening, partnering with Michael Umana in central defense. The second-year player was solid in his efforts and provided Chivas USA with a physical dimension in defense that helped to quell the threat of big striker Conor Casey.
“Anytime you need to match up physically against an opponent, Cuesta is a good option with his size,” Red-and-White head coach Martín Vásquez said.
The Goats ultimately fell to a 3-0 score line at Colorado, condemning them to a Western Conference-worst 12th loss of the year.
“I’m happy to have gotten the start, but the game was tough,” Cuesta said. “I think Chivas was the better team for the first 45 minutes. We possessed well and created chances.
"But in the second half, they found a goal and that really took the wind out of our sails. We couldn’t get our feet under us and they ended up scoring two more goals.”
At just 21 years old, Cuesta admitted he still has much to learn from his teammates.
“I’m really motivated and I think I’m playing well right now,” he said. “I’m happy with the other defenders. They’re really experienced players. I’m doing my best to learn from them and support them so that the team can get out of this rut that we’re in.”
Chivas USA will host the New England Revolution on Friday evening at The Home Depot Center in Carson, Calif. With just eight games remaining in the 2010 campaign, the Goats must win if they are to maintain any hope of seeing postseason action.
“We have to win,” Cuesta said. “We have to be aware of the fact that we gave up six goals in the last two games. But right now, we need to think ahead and focus on getting wins.
"We still have a chance at the playoffs and we need to think that way.”