The Shmooze

American Jewish Soccer Players Gunning For Sports Glory

By Josh Tapper

Jonathan Spector

As Jordan Farmer plays a steady back-up role for the Los Angeles Lakers in the NBA Finals and Kevin Youkilis, Ryan Braun and Ian Kinsler all rank in the top five in MLB All-Star voting at their respective positions – Braun, a Milwaukee Brewer, leads all National League outfielders – three other Jewish American athletes will be gunning for sports glory in the coming weeks.

As members of the U.S. national soccer team, Jonathan Bornstein and Benny Feilhaber, who both grew up in Southern California, and Chicago’s Jonathan Spector will be lacing up their cleats to play in the 2010 World Cup, set to kick off in South Africa on June 11. (The U.S. plays its first match against England on June 12.) All three shouldn’t have any trouble in the global limelight. Bornstein, a defender, and Feilhaber, a midfielder born in Brazil, who roomed together at UCLA, have played on the national team since 2007 and won silver at the 2005 Maccabiah Games in Israel. In addition to youth national teams, Spector, a defender, has played for Premier League powerhouse West Ham United and was signed by Manchester United — he never ended up playing for them — when he was 17.

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