Former U.S. National Team Captain Carlos Bocanegra to retire at end of Major League Soccer season

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:

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SuperClasico Labor Day Weekend Rewind: Game over for rivalry as LA Galaxy beat Chivas USA (yet again)


Since losing to Sporting Kansas City July 19, the Galaxy have reeled off six wins, dropping just five points in the eight games and ending with a 13-goal spree over four games in 11 days. Impressive.

No wonder coach Bruce Arena lost track of how many games they have played where. Next up: Colorado Friday in Carson.

Mercifully, this rivalry series is finished.

And no column from me today because of the holiday weekend.

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SuperClasico Shootout: LA Galaxy’s Gyasi Zardes V. Chivas USA’s Cubo Torres

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.

Beat writer Phil Collin sat down with both of them ahead of Sunday’s last-ever SuperClasico.

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Week 3: Barclays Premier League Preview

The NBC TV schedule of games is here. (Sadly though, no Labor Day game).

Can United beat newly-promoted Burnley and get back on track? Set that DVR!

A comprehensive, interactive, stats-laden preview is here.

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LA Galaxy defender A.J. DeLaGarza and family in fight for life of newborn son today, putting latest win over D.C. United in perspective

The Galaxy’s game Wednesday night in Carson was all but over by half time as a dominant Los Angeles took a 3-0 lead during the opening 45 minutes of a game against Eastern Conference leaders D.C. United they would go on to win 4-1 ahead of Sunday’s final SuperClasico over Chivas USA.

Defender A.J.DeLaGarza started for the Galaxy in their latest victory, but the real fight for his family begins today with the birth of his first-born son who has a life-threatening congenital heart condition.

“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:

Update

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Major League Soccer Preview: LA Galaxy hosts D.C. United in Carson at 7:30 p.m. at StubHub Center

There’s a doubleheader of sorts today:

*MLS beat writer Phil Collin has the capsule preview.
*Here’s the (Landon Donovan perspective) from The Washington Post
*In case you missed it, my weekly soccer column is here.

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