By Stephanie Gardner
When a person closes a chapter in their life in order to start anew, he desires the final pages of that chapter to be filled with sweet memories and victorious moments, as he takes his final exit. This, however, is real life. For Jonathan Bornstein, real life also includes injury and defeat as he finishes up his last year with the struggling Chivas USA, before starting a promising career playing for the Tigres of the Primera Division de Mexico.
90soccer sat down with Bornstein (photo) after another Chivas’ loss, to talk about the upcoming move. Bornstein explains, “You know, my contract is up at the end of this year. I was pursuing my options in Europe, Mexico, and the United States still. The offer (from Mexico) was right, and the situation was a good one. I jumped on it. I think it will make me a better soccer player, personally, and experience the world, and live somewhere else. I have lived in Southern California all my life. Overall, all those things helped in my decision.”
Bornstein describes what he anticipates in Mexico, and what he will miss. “I am looking forward to learning Spanish. I have always wanted to learn how to speak it, and the other thing is playing for the team. In Mexico, they are very technical, and the game is a lot different then it is here. So, looking forward to the style of play. I am going to miss my family and my friends. I have never had to leave Southern California, in terms of a living situation, so, it will be a big change for me, but one that I am looking forward to.”
MLS Rookie of the year, 2006; and MLS All-Star 3 years in a row are just a few of his accomplishments. Bornstein was a contributing factor in getting the US team to South Africa this past year. His header, last October, against Costa Rica into five minute stoppage time was epic. He joined the US team in the World Cup, and his efforts were a part of the thrilling games we watched from our living rooms.
He comments on his time in South Africa, “The best moment was obviously when Landon scored. Thats, uh, pretty exhilarating. I think back on that moment and emotions are running high; you know in my personal experience, and overall being a part of that team and be a part of everything.”
Off the field, Bornstein made just as big of an impact. He helped kids affected by cancer, and called attention to kids in foster care. He was Chivas USA Soccer Foundation Humanitarian of the Year, 2008, and continues to serve in his community.
Players like Bornstein don’t stay long in their home country. Their talent and passion are exactly what teams in Europe and Mexico are looking for. As for now, the MLS can’t compete.
With the Goats’ chances at the playoffs looking close to impossible, the countdown until he says farewell to the Chivas USA begins. Jonathan Bornstein should be proud of what he did for American soccer and the fans. He is an unsung hero for the Chivas USA, as well as for the MLS. It will be a sad day when he plays his final match wearing red and white #13. Walking off the pitch at the Home Depot Center, for the last time, with the sound of the fans cheering his name, hopefully he can remember the countless great moments, and not the sad ending.