Fans and various figures within the game have taken to Twitter to hail former US national team captain Carlos Bocangera, after the Chivas USA defender announced that he is set to retire at the end of the 2014 MLS season.
Bocanegra, 35, earned 110 caps for the US, featuring in the 2006 and 2010 World Cups and scoring 14 goals, while captaining the side on 64 occasions from 2007 until his final appearance in 2013.
Beginning his professional career with the Chicago Fire, after being drafted fourth overall in the 2000 MLS SuperDraft out of UCLA, he would later go on to spend almost a decade in Europe, with stints at Fulham, Rennes, Saint-Etienne, Rangers and Racing Santander, before returning to the US to join Chivas in June 2013.
He started 18 of the LA-based club’s first 19 matches to start this season but, after battling concussion symptoms since mid-July, hasn’t appeared in the past seven fixtures.
Perhaps best known for his spell with the Cottagers, where he made 116 appearances from 2004 to 2008, while playing alongside fellow USMNT regulars Brian McBride and Clint Dempsey, the California-native will no doubt go down as one of the greatest-ever defenders to don the stars and stripes, and the reaction upon his announcement demonstrates what high regard he was held in.
The great Carlos Bocanegra announces that he will retire. Great player. Thanks for the memories @BocaBoca3— Bruce McGuire (@dunord) September 5, 2014
Carlos Bocanegra now announcing his retirement. Its like the #USMNT of my youth is all going off into the sun-set.— Drew Epperley (@wvhooligan) September 4, 2014
Bocanegra retiring is sad to me. One of my favorite players ever #ChivasUSA— Seth (@SethMan31) September 4, 2014
Can't believe we're losing another #USMNT legend Carlos Bocanegra.— Off to Neverland (@dunnes96b4) September 5, 2014
Carlos Bocanegra retiring from the National Team. Class defender and a true legend. Thanks, Captain.— Nathan Kanuch (@njkanuch) September 5, 2014
Wow....just caught the Bocanegra news. #legend— ESC Capo Rookie (@JeffreyKleiman) September 5, 2014
Thanks carlos bocanegra for a great time with the u.s. squad, best defender in u.s. history— Oscar Ortiz (@oscarondeck) September 5, 2014
Carlos Bocanegra was a great captain and player, and even better US Soccer ambassador.— Jacob Austin (@thatgeniusjacob) September 4, 2014
Carlos Bocanegra has had an amazing career. One of my favorite national team players. Congrats on a fantastic career @BocaBoca3— Jordan Kaylie (@JordanKaylie1) September 5, 2014
Bocanegra had an amazing career and no one can say anything different— CLC (@TheCruzanator9) September 4, 2014
Bocanegra is easily one of the best American outfield players of all time, and that's often ignored because he's a defender. #USMNT— WrongSideOfThePond (@wrongsideofpond) September 5, 2014
Carlos Bocanegra retiring also...probably the best American CB of all time— Andrew Rouse (@usarouse) September 5, 2014