CARSON, Calif. – There are few coaches who have had as much of an effect on the professional career of Chivas USA’s Jonathan Bornstein than Bob Bradley.
The two began working together four years ago when Bradley selected Bornstein in the fourth round of the 2006 MLS SuperDraft. Their relationship was quickly fruitful – Bornstein earned MLS Rookie of the Year honors in his first season after Bradley converted the Los Alamitos, Calif., native into a left back.
Their partnership took another step forward in 2007, when Bradley, who had just been promoted to the position of Head Coach for the United States National Team, tapped Bornstein for the first of what would become a number of international appearances.
Now, four years later, Bradley has re-upped his contract with US Soccer and will serve as the team’s head coach for another four years. Not surprisingly, first among those who are excited about the move is Bornstein.
“It’s well-deserved,” the Chivas USA captain told MLSsoccer.com. “He did a great job over the past four years of preparing the team and getting us ready for the World Cup. He’s a good candidate for any coaching job around the world, so I was happy to see that [he re-signed].”
Bradley has had a huge impact on Bornstein’s career, starting with the fact that the 25-year-old may have remained a striker if not for the steely eyed coach.
“More than anything, he has instilled in me the mentality of what it takes to compete on the international level and, day in and day out, what it takes to perform at your best,” Bornstein said. “That comes from the training sessions and the tactical lessons, and I think he’s done a good job teaching us all that.”
While Bradley will certainly have a lot to do as the United States prepares for the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil, Bornstein insists that one of his chief considerations will likely be personnel considerations.
“More than anything, you have to focus on getting a new group of guys together,” Bornstein said. “Obviously in four years, some guys will be getting older and there will be some young guys coming up through the ranks that we don’t even know about right now. It’s important to get a good group started at the beginning.”
The end of the 2010 season will see Bornstein transfer from Chivas USA to Mexican club Tigres UANL, and if his success on the pitch so far is any indicator, there is a very real possibility that he and Bradley will be working together for years to come.