|Full name||Hernan Borja|
|Date of birth||August 24, 1959|
|Place of birth||Quito, Ecuador|
|Date of death||January 28, 2021(aged 61)|
|Height||5 ft 11 in (1.80 m)|
|Position(s)||Midfielder / Forward|
|1981–1982||New York Cosmos||48||(12)|
|1981–1984||New York Cosmos (Indoor)||44||(36)|
|1984||New York Cosmos||18||(5)|
|1984–1985||Las Vegas Americans (indoor)||28||(24)|
|1985–1987||Wichita Wings (indoor)||83||(84)|
|1987–1988||Los Angeles Lazers (indoor)||51||(48)|
|1988–1992||Wichita Wings (indoor)||119||(90)|
|1989–1990||→ Albany Capitals (loan)|
|1994||Houston Hotshots (indoor)|
|*Club domestic league appearances and goals|
Hernan "Chico" Borja (August 24, 1959 – January 25, 2021) was an Ecuadorian-born American soccer player and coach. He spent time in the several U.S.-based leagues including the North American Soccer League, Major Indoor Soccer League and the American Soccer League. He also earned eleven caps with the U.S. national team.
Borja was born in Quito, Ecuador on August 24, 1959. His family immigrated to the United States where he attended New Jersey Institute of Technology (NJIT), where Borja played on the men's soccer team. At that time, NJIT played in the NCAA Division III. In 1980, his senior year, Borja was selected as a Division I First Team All American, the first NJIT men's soccer player to be named an All American. He finished his career with multiple entries in the NCAA record books for both single game and season scoring. In 1989, New Jersey Institute of Technology inducted Borja, a 1981 graduate, into its Hall of Fame.
Borja began his professional career as a midfield winger with the New York Cosmos of the North American Soccer League in 1981. In his first two years with the team, he played in two NASL championship games, losing the first and winning the second in 1982.
In 1983, the U.S. Soccer Federation, in coordination with the NASL, entered the U.S. national team, known as Team America, into the NASL as a league franchise. The team drew on U.S. citizens playing in the NASL, Major Indoor Soccer League and American Soccer League. Borja left the Cosmos and signed with Team America. When Team America finished the 1983 season with a 10–20 record, the worst in the NASL, USSF withdrew the team from the league. Borja returned to the Cosmos for the 1984 season. Although the Cosmos failed dismally, not making the playoffs, Borja's play earned him a place on the NASL North American all-star team that year. He finished his NASL career with 83 games, 20 goals and 24 assists. One of his scoring highlights came in a 1984 Cosmos 3–2 victory over Argentinos Juniors.
From Las Vegas, Borja, moved to the Wichita Wings for two seasons, 1986–1987 and 1987-1988 before his transfer to the Los Angeles Lazers. He was with L.A. for a single season, then returned to Wichita, with whom he remained until his retirement in 1992. He was named the MISL Pass Master (season assist leader) for the 1988–1989 season. In 1989 and 1990, Borja played on loan during the summer with the Albany Capitals of the American Soccer League.
Borja retired from the MISL eighth on the career points list (612 points) and fourth on the career assists list (338 assists). Throughout his indoor career, he was a constant scoring threat. However, he was also noted for his lack of reluctance to get physical which led to numerous penalties.
National and Olympic teams
Borja began playing for the United States men's national soccer team in 1982. He finished his playing career with eleven caps and three goals. His first game was the lone U.S. game of 1982, a 2–1 win over Trinidad and Tobago on March 21, 1982. In 1983, the U.S. played only one game, a 2–0 win over Haiti on April 8. Borja scored the second U.S. goal of the match. In 1985, he played two World Cup qualification matches, scoring a goal in a 2–1 victory over Trinidad and Tobago. He finished his national team career in a scoreless World Cup qualification game with Jamaica on July 24, 1988, when he came on for Bruce Murray in the 61st minute.
In 1984, Borja was called up for the U.S. Olympic soccer team which competed at the 1984 Summer Olympics. Borja played all three games as the U.S. ran to a 1-1-1 record in group play, failing to qualify for the second round. While the U.S. fielded its full international team at the Olympics, these games do not count as national team games as FIFA did not recognize them as full internationals. Borja was also on the U.S. team at the 1987 Pan American Games.
While Borja retired from professional soccer in 1992, that year he played for the U.S. Futsal team which won the silver medal at the World Championship. Borja was selected to the tournament first team. He continued to play on the U.S. Futsal team until 1995, scoring a total of 9 goals, placing him in the top ten list of U.S. futsal players.
After retiring from playing, Borja joined the coaching ranks. He began with the Houston Hotshots of the Continental Indoor Soccer League in 1994 and the Houston Force for their one competitive game in 1995. The Force folded after that single game. He also coached high school girls' soccer in Houston. He was on the National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA) National Staff and coached the Renegade Elite in Florida. Prior to 2012, he coached boys' soccer and girls' and boys' golf at Coral Glades High School in Coral Springs, Florida. He was also an Assistant Principal at South Plantation High School in Plantation, Florida.
- Staff. "Results Plus", The New York Times, November 18, 1992. Accessed July 11, 2012. "Jeff Agoos and Chico Borja of Belleville, N.J., scored two goals each as the United States beat Russia, 8-3, last night in its opening match of the FIFA world indoor championship in Hong Kong."
- "1980 All Americans". Archived from the original on 2011-06-15. Retrieved 2009-12-16.
- NCAA Soccer Records Archived April 11, 2008, at the Wayback Machine
- MISL Greats
- USA - Details of International Matches 1980-1989
- XXIII. Olympiad Los Angeles 1984 Football Tournament
- "USA - Details of International Matches 1980-1989". rsssf.com. Retrieved 2020-04-21.
- Futsal All Time Player Register Archived September 27, 2007, at the Wayback Machine
- "GOODBYE, CHICO: Former Cosmos, USMNT player Borja dies at 61", Front Row Soccer, January 28, 2021. Accessed August 29, 2021.