When most MLS fans saw that Chivas USA’s Jonathan Bornstein had been named the league player of the month for July the reaction pretty much everywhere was, “Who?”. But this rookie from UCLA has made a huge impact on the 2006 season while playing several different positions. He talks with Soccer365′s Lars Lifrak about his impressive debut, how he switches positions so easily and his hopes to play on the National Team.
365: Let’s talk about the team first. I would think the atmosphere is a lot better than it was last year. I know you are a rookie, but can you comment on that?
Jonathan Bornstein: I talked to a couple of the guys who were here last year about how it was and they say they just kept losing so it was hard to be positive. This year everything in the locker room is on the upside. Everyone is always talking about how we can get better. We haven’t lost a game in a long time. I’d definitely say the atmosphere, on the field and off the field, is definitely amazing.
365: Are you starting to sense in the L.A. area that Chivas USA is making a mark? Until now the Galaxy was by far the more popular team.
JB: Definitely. Just head to head in the Súper Clásicos we finally got a victory and we maybe should have won the first one as well. I definitely think that we are getting to the same level as the Galaxy. We are getting the same respect as them. Within the community we are getting a lot more talk and a lot more fans. I personally know some Galaxy fans that have switched over to be Chivas fans because they know a couple of players on the team but, I think we are definitely a team that is going to be in contention with the Galaxy from here on out.
365: Let’s talk about you personally a little bit. I was surprised to see you make the move up front after playing the beginning of the season at left back. How did that all happen?
JB: I was playing in the back and Ante (Razov) got a yellow card suspension. I got the chance to go up front and I happened to score two goals, and one of them happened to be in consideration for goal of the week. The next week I got the chance to go up on the left side at left midfield and I happened to get another goal that was the same thing. I was just in the right place at the right time and put my chance away. I just got the opportunity and I think I was even more eager to get a goal because I had been playing left back all year. So when I finally got that opportunity to go up top, I just told myself I had to score a couple of goals just to give myself a little bit of contention if they ever needed me up there again.
365: When a coach starts to think about replacing an offensive player who is out for one reason or another, rookie left back isn’t usually at the top of the list. Why were you chosen?
JB: I had never played left back in my career before. At UCLA and at my club, all throughout my development I had always played an attacking roll, either forward or center midfielder or outside midfielder. At practice I get my fair share of goals coming up from left back, whenever I get the chance. I think Bob (Bradley) just saw that and gave me the opportunity to go up top.
365: So then let’s go the other way with that question, why were you chosen to play left back in the first place? You look very poised as a defender.
For the complete Jonathan Bornstein interview visit Soccer365