MLS news: Fire adds former U.S. national-team defender Jonathan Bornstein
To acquire Bornstein the Fire traded $50,000 in 2020 targeted allocation money to the Crew for the No. 1 spot in the waiver order.
The Fire added a recognizable name to their back line. Making the move also required some MLS-specific gymnastics.
The team announced Monday that it has acquired former U.S. national-team defender Jonathan Bornstein. It traded $50,000 in 2020 targeted allocation money to the Crew for the No. 1 spot in the waiver order. It then used the pick to claim Bornstein, 34, who has played professionally in the United States, Mexico and, most recently, Israel.
‘‘We began pursuing Jonathan back in January, but his insertion into the lineup made him too invaluable to his former club,’’ Fire president and general manager Nelson Rodriguez said in a statement. ‘‘In addition to providing a steady presence and competition on the field, we believe Jonathan will be an excellent mentor for our younger players.’’
At this point, the Fire can use all the help they can get. Entering their Leagues Cup match Tuesday at SeatGeek Stadium against the Mexican team Cruz Azul, the Fire are winless in their last four MLS games, sit 10th in the Eastern Conference and are seven points out of a playoff spot.
The Fire’s previous two home games were especially frustrating. Facing last-place FC Cincinnati and the 11th-place Crew, the Fire picked up only one of a possible six points.
The back line has been a source of concern all season for the Fire, and Bornstein will bring experience when he’s added to the roster. He has made 38 appearances for the U.S. national team, including two in the 2010 World Cup.
Bornstein’s deal with the Fire runs through the 2020 season, with a team option for 2021.
NOTE: The Fire said in a statement that a mock-up announcing their move to Soldier Field for all regular-season home matches in 2020 was posted mistakenly on their website. A version of the original page was taken down soon after it went online. It showed the Fire, the Chicago Park District and the Chicago Sports Commission jointly announcing the team’s move to the lakefront.
‘‘While discussions with the Chicago Park District are ongoing, in our optimism, a webpage was being developed and was inadvertently published this afternoon,’’ the team said in a statement released to the Sun-Times.
The page had the URL www.chicago-fire.com/announcement-mockup and featured links to place deposit for tickets and to watch ‘‘the full video from Thursday’s press conference at Soldier Field.’’