By Mario Melara
Los Angeles , CA – Chivas USA announced on Monday that current captain Jonathan Bornstein has signed a pre-contract with Tigres UNAL of the Mexican First Division and will leave the club after the end of the 2010 MLS campaign.
Jonathan Bornstein is arguably most famously known for his epic goal in the 95th minute in a World Cup qualifying match against Costa Rica that clinched a berth not only for the U.S. Men’s National team in the 2010 FIFA World Cup, but also for Honduras. With that goal, Bornstein became an instant Honduran icon.
After logging in just over 200 minutes of action most recently at the World Cup in South Africa, many teams across the globe took notice of the talents of this up and coming American soccer star, who could play both fullback and midfield. Therefore, it is no surprise that Bornstein is moving on to bigger and better things, but what does this says about the Chivas USA organization?
Just months ago, Chivas USA also lost fellow American superstar Sacha Kljestan to Belgian powerhouse Anderlecht. Now with the departure of Bornstein, one wonders as a fan what it is the Chivas USA brass are up to?
It is very disappointing when you see the other big team in Los Angeles wheeling-and-dealing, making moves to keep players such as Landon Donovan, Edson Buddle, and are close to signing Brazilian superstar Ronaldinho from AC Milan. They have put their money where their mouth is and are transforming the L.A. Galaxy into a globally recognized club and brand. The New York Red Bulls recently signed Thierry Henry. Even the Chicago Fire were making moves this week when they signed Mexican international Nery Castillo.
What about Chivas USA Mr. Jorge Vergara Madrigal (owner of Chivas USA)? Please don’t tell me that the signing of Giancarlo Maldonado was all that we could muster.
This is now a crucial time for Chivas USA. Sitting in last place of the Western Conference, we will quickly see if this team has already packed its bags and closed up shop for the 2010 MLS campaign, or whether, somehow miraculously, Chivas USA head coach Martin Vasquez can turn this team around with the talent that it is left with.
There is however also one possible long shot. A 95th minute goal to the rescue. Rafa Marquez.
Rumors have been swirling about the Mexican superstar who currently plays for Barcelona in Spain. He was recently here in Los Angeles participating in a charity soccer event with Hollywood actress Eva Longoria. Marquez has made it very clear that he loves California and is ready for a new stage in his career.
Therefore, until this team makes big boy moves like its cross-town rivals, it will continue to be considered the “other” team in Los Angeles.