Jonathan Bornstein once became the very embodiment of frustrations U.S. Soccer fans felt over the left back position.
For years, the American left back spot had devolved into a cavalcade of men sprang from one of two imperfect molds: They were either good defenders who couldn’t contribute sufficiently going forward (think Carlos Bocanegra, a quality center back who was always a stop-gap on the outside) or they were hale and hardy attackers who couldn’t attend adequately see to defensive chores (think … well, a lot of them).
Bornstein was among the more confounding figures, if only because he was given more chances. He started more than 10 games in three different years under Bob Bradley – usually capable against the CONCACAF countries but exposed when the competition rose.
So, rightly or wrongly, the left back who rose out of Chivas USA before relocating his career to Mexico became the very picture of fan frustration.
Still … you hope U.S. fans don’t hold grudges against the man personally. Because it looks like he’s in a bad spot, stuck at a place that doesn’t really want him and unable to dislodge himself.
If he came back to MLS today, assuming he could get his groove and his confidence back, Bornstein would immediately be among the top quarter of left backs.