Former US national team captain Carlos Bocanegra has announced that he is set to retire at the end of this season.
Bocanegra, 35, began his professional career with the Chicago Fire, after being drafted fourth overall in the 2000 MLS SuperDraft out of UCLA, before going on to establish himself as one of the top defenders in the league over the next four seasons.
His impressive form eventually earned him a move to Fulham in January 2004, where he would make 116 appearances in five Premier League seasons, teaming up with fellow US regulars Brian McBride and Clint Dempsey in a team which was dubbed “Fulhamerica” among stateside fans.
He would later spend time with both Rennes and Saint-Etienne in France from 2008 to 2011, before joining Scottish giants Rangers, with the ambition of experiencing Champions League football for the first team.
The club’s liquidation the following summer, however, saw him move on loan to Spanish second division side Racing Santander for the 2012-13 campaign, before opting to return to MLS after almost a decade in Europe to see out his career.
Joining Chivas USA in June 2013, the California-native became a valuable leader for the LA-based outfit, but had been batting concussion symptoms since mid-July, and hadn’t appeared in the club’s past seven fixtures.
‘I'm still hungry for the game and I want to play, but unfortunately you can't play forever. I was thinking about this in the offseason, and it took me about six months to come to a final decision,’ he said. ‘The timing is right for me. I've known for a little while now in my mind and in my heart. I'm happy with it, and I'm looking forward to the new challenges.’
Having made his international debut in 2001 under Bruce Arena, Bocanegra would go on to feature at both the 2006 and 2010 World Cups, captaining the side for the latter, with his 110 caps tied for seventh all-time for the US.
His last appearance coming in November 2012 in a 2-2 draw with Russia, the centre-back-cum-left-back is the fourth member of the South Africa 2010 squad to announce his retirement over the past six months, following Steve Cherundolo, Jay DeMerit and Landon Donovan.