Bornstein says WC will help him lift Chivas USA
CARSON, Calif. – After 29 days, four international soccer matches
and 20,428 miles, Jonathan Bornstein is finally home.
The Chivas USA co-captain returned to Los
Angeles on Tuesday afternoon after serving as part of the US
National Team that traveled to South
Africa for the 2010 FIFA World Cup. The
squad qualified for the Round of 16 as
Group C winners, but was knocked out by Ghana on an extra-time goal.
“It was a really good experience for me personally, and for
the team,” said Bornstein at a press event on Thursday. “We’re all a little
disappointed to be out of the tournament and back home watching the games, but
we set out to do something special and accomplish the immediate goal of getting
out of the group. The fact that we took first [in Group C] was something to be very proud
of. We had some success, but I definitely think we could have had more.”
Bornstein returned to Chivas USA training on Thursday morning
and will likely be named in the starting XI for Saturday’s game against the Philadelphia
Union at the Home Depot Center (7:30 p.m. PT). His is a welcome return for the Red-and-White, who haven’t won a league
game since May 5.
“I was watching the Chivas games while I was gone, and we
haven’t won in a while,” he said. “I wanted to come back and show the guys,
‘Yeah, I just played in a World Cup, but I’m very committed to this team and
want to turn things around.’ This Saturday is a perfect opportunity to do
Bornstein made his World Cup debut in the USA’s 1-0 over Algeria in the
final group stage game. His presence was a stabilizing force in the back line, helping
the team to keep its first and only shutout of the tournament.
“I was just hoping and crossing my fingers that I might get
in,” said Bornstein of seeing playing time in South Africa. “When I did find out,
[coach] Bob [Bradley] came up to me and told me, ‘We’re going to go a
little differently this game. We’re going to be playing you.’ I was extremely
happy that I was going to get a chance to show myself at the World Cup. I just
went out on the field and did what I could.”
With the US
World Cup run coming to an end, Bornstein will now turn his attentions to MLS play. But the
Los Alamitos, Calif., native is excited to learn from his time in South Africa
and to continue improving on the pitch.
“Now that it’s all over, I’m just examining the experiences
that I had and I’m trying to think about how it can make me a better player –
even for Saturday,” he said. “It’s easy to stay focused. In anything you do,
once you accomplish something, it’s just on to the next thing.”