Veteran defender Carlos Bocanegra, 35, an Upland native who has made 30 appearances for Chivas USA over the last two seasons, has announced his retirement effective at the end of the MLS season.
Bocanegra has missed the half dozen MLS games because of concussion.
“I’m still hungry for the game and I want to play, but unfortunately you can’t play forever,” he said in a statement released by the club. “I was thinking about this in the offseason, and it took me about six months to come to a final decision.
“The timing is right for me,”added the UCLA product. “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.”
Bocanegra did not say what those plans are, but will talk to reporters Friday morning.
A former MLS Rookie of the Year with Chicago in 2000, Bocanegra spent the bulk of his career in Europe playing for Fulham in the EPL before moving to France for four years and then onto Glasgow Rangers.
He played in two World Cups for the U.S., making a total of 110 international appearances, before he was discarded midway through the last World Cup qualifying campaign.
Read more about his career in the link embedded in the Tweet above, read what Bocanegra has to say about it in his own words here or just watch this:
It’s a match made for MLS: the prolific American starring for his local MLS club that plays in Carson a short South Bay skip from his Hawthorne hometown verses the all-time top Mexican scorer in MLS facing off in one of the biggest soccer markets in the country.
The face-off isn’t perfect.
Both players have cooled off of late.
And Torres, who should be pulling in capacity crowds, plays for a uniquely unpopular club fumbling toward oblivion and is virtually unknown compared to revered Mexican stars he has surpassed such as Carlos Hermosillo, Luis Hernandez and Cuauhtémoc Blanco.
Yet players like these represent the future of MLS.
“I was very happy to get my first MLS goal with my feet instead of my head,” DeLaGarza’s fellow central defender, Maryland graduate and good friend Omar Gonzalez said. “I was pretty surprised that it went in and I just ran over to A.J. to lift my shirt with “Luca Knows Heart.” Tomorrow’s a very important day for him and we’re all going to be here for him. I’m happy to get the win for him tonight so he can focus on what he has to focus on tomorrow.”
Finally, it was a good night for returning striker Alan Gordon, too:
This was a more comfortable victory for the Galaxy than the 2-0 scoreline reflected over a Vancouver team seemingly without the self-belief to try for a win in Southern California where the visitors have traditionally performed poorly. Reporter Phil Collin filed the game story.