Jonathan Borrajo: “I’ve had the privilege to call this sport my job for the last decade and now the time has come for me to hang up my boots.” (Photo courtesy of the Cosmos)
By Michael Lewis
Defender and midfielder Jonathan Borrajo, who performed for several pro clubs, including the Red Bulls and Cosmos B, announced his retirement Sunday.
The 31-year-old said in several statements on Twitter that it was time to move on.
“I’ve had the privilege to call this sport my job for the last decade and now the time has come for me to hang up my boots,” Borrajo tweeted.
“It has been one hell of a ride,” he added later on.
While the Clifton, N.J. native was leaving the game as a player, he won’t go too far from the sport.
“I will be pursuing a number of soccer and non-soccer related projects, including growing @soccer_shape in the Greater New York City area. As hard as writing this letter is, I’m extremely excited about what’s next.”
SoccerShape is a fitness program and class that combines strength training and cardio exercises for soccer players. While with Cosmos B last year, Borrajo was expanding the business, particularly in New York City.
A graduate of George Mason University, Borrajo played the 2010-11 season with HamKam (Norway). In 2012, he joined the Red Bulls in 2012, playing one game, before venturing again to Norway to play with Mjøndalen (Norway) in 2013. He returned to the states to play with three North American Soccer League sides — San Antonio Scorpions (2014), Fort Lauderdale Strikers (2015) and Miami FC (2016-17).
Borrajo helped San Antonio win the 2014 NASL crown and captained Miami FC in 2016.
In 2018, Borrajo was a steady presence at right back for Cosmos B in the National Premier Soccer League. Not only did he defend well, Borrajo turned into an attacking force with his overlapping runs and crosses into the penalty area. His play did not go unnoticed by media and spectators as he was named to the NPSL Northeast all-star team.
In his Twitter farewell, Borrajo thanked many people who played a part in his career.
“I’m so thankful to my incredibly supportive wife, Mom, Dad, brother and friends who have been amazing throughout this entire journey,” he wrote. “I couldn’t have accomplished all that I have without all of your love, sacrifice, and commitment to me throughout every step of this journey.
“To all my coaches, mentors, teammates, trainers, agents, physical therapists, doctors, and front office staffs I’ve worked with, it’s been a pleasure to work and learn from you all.
“To the fans, what is this sport without you? You make the game. You make us feel so alive on that pitch. Your passion and love [have] been felt all these years and I appreciate all of your kindness and support.
“The incredible people I’ve met and the friendships that I’ve made all around the world is truly something I’ll cherish forever.
“Thank you to @masonmsoc @RealMarylandFC @HamKamFotball @NewYorkRedBulls @MIFToppfotball @SAScorpions @FTLStrikers @TheMiamiFC and @NYCosmos organizations for giving a 1st generation Spanish-American kid a chance to live out his dream.
“It has been one hell of a ride. From winning conference championships in college to signing my first professional contract, helping HamKam win promotion in Norway, playing for my boyhood club, sharing a locker room with Rafa Marquez, Thierry Henry and Tim Cahill, playing games against world-renowned clubs in sold out stadiums, winning the NASL, captaining a football club, and playing for some really iconic organizations.”