No American field player has spent so much time abroad and had played so little as Bornstein, who played just 12 games in his first four seasons in Mexico and did not play for Queretaro
until the end of February.
But he won the favor of Queretaro coach, former Mexican national team boss Victor Manuel
Vucetich, and found himself starting in the Liguilla for Queretaro.
On Sunday, Brazilian star Ronaldinho watched from the Queretaro bench as
Bornstein came up from his left-back position and scored in the 49th minute to secure Queretaro a place in the final of the Mexican playoffs for the first time.
The goal gave it a 2-0 win over Pachuca and evened the series at 2-2. In the first two
rounds of the playoffs, the tiebreaker is regular-season standings. Queretaro finished sixth, ahead of Pachuca, as both teams had pulled upsets in the first round of the playoffs.
Jonathan Bornstein in Mexico: GP/G TEAM (YEAR) 11/1 Queretaro (2014-15) 3/0 Atlante (2013-14) 0/0 Tigres (2013-14) 2/0 Tigres (2012-13) 0/0 Tigres (2011-12) 7/0 Tigres (2010-11)
Bornstein will seek to become the ninth American to be crowned Mexican champion when Queretaro plays Santos for the Torneo Clausura
title Thursday and Sunday. A Queretaro title would mark the fourth straight championship an American has won La Liguilla.
He had not scored since the stoppage-time goal gave the USA a 2-2
tie with Costa Rica in October 2009. The goal made him a Honduran national hero as the result sent the Catrachos to the 2010 World Cup at the expense of Costa Rica, which eventually lost its playoff
series against Uruguay.
American Champions in Mexico: SEASON PLAYER (CLUB) 2014 Apertura *Ventura Alvarado (Club America) 2014 Clausura *William Yarbrough (Leon) 2013 Apertura *William Yarbrough (Leon) 2012 Apertura
*Joe Corona (Tijuana) 2012 Apertura *Edgar Castillo (Tijuana) 2012 Apertura Greg Garza (Tijuana) 2012 Clausura Herculez Gomez (Santos) 2008 Clausura *Edgar Castillo (Santos) 2007 Clausura Jose Torres (Pachuca) 1995 Dominic Kinnear (Necaxa) *Played in Gran Final. Note:
Castillo didn't switch to play for USA until 2009; Yarbrough didn't commit to play for the USA until 2015.