DAVID SMITH - Saturday, June 13, 2009
After spending 18 months off the national team radar, a solid performance in last weekend's qualifying win over Honduras has put Jonathan Bornstein firmly back into contention at left back.
"The last year and a half I've been in the mix, then not really, so I'm hoping to solidify that spot," Bornstein told YA, adding, "but it's ultimately up to the coaching staff."
The 2006 MLS Rookie of the Year burst onto the scene for Stars & Stripes in 2007, quickly becoming Bradley's preferred starter at left back.
However after having been limited to only a pair of appearances in the last 18 months, Bornstein's inclusion for the most recent round of qualifiers and the Confederations Cup came as a surprise, which certainly does not escape the former UCLA Bruin.
"I'm very proud to be here, to be selected as a part of the group is a huge honor," he asserts. "I hope we can put some good performances together and set ourselves up to see where we're at in terms of getting into the World Cup."
The fourth-year Chivas USA starter's return to the fold came at an opportune time, with the US coming off an embarrassing defeat in Costa Rica and desperately needing to secure a win three days later against Honduras to stay in control of their destiny for next summer's big dance.
After conceding an early lead for the second straight contest, Bornstein and his teammates fought back for the victory, with the team taking on a mental toughness he feels confident will help them heading into a trio of daunting games over the next week.
"I definitely thing it's going to prepare us."
"The game in Costa Rica was a tough one and we may not have come out ready for it," he admits. "So to respond in the way we did against Honduras was definitely beneficial to us."
"I think we are going to take that same mentality into these next couple games and hopefully we can get the same results."