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Carlos Manuel Bocanegra (born May 25, 1979, in ) is an American soccer player who plays for Frenchmarker Ligue 1 club Stade Rennes and is the captain of the United States national team. Although he is primarily a center back, he has also seen time at left back and defensive midfielder.

Club career

Chicago Fire

After playing college soccer at University of California, Los Angelesmarker (UCLA), Bocanegra signed a Project-40 contract with Major League Soccer and was drafted by the Chicago Fire with the fourth overall pick in the 2000 MLS SuperDraft. He spent most of the year with the Fire, playing only two games on loan with Project 40. He proceeded to win the MLS Rookie of the Year Award for a team that made it to the MLS Championship match and won the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup. He became one of the top defenders in MLS, becoming the first player to win the MLS Defender of the Year Award twice, in 2002 and 2003. Bocanegra scored five goals and had eight assists in his four years in MLS.


Bocanegra was signed by Fulham in January 2004. With Fulham, Bocanegra played primarily as a center back, but also as a left back and briefly as a holding midfielder. During the 2006-07 Premier League season, he was Fulham's second leading scorer with five goals, behind fellow American Brian McBride. On September 1, 2007, Bocanegra captained Fulham for the first time in a Premier League match, a come from behind 3–3 draw with Tottenham Hotspur. On September 15, 2007, he made his 100th appearance in the Premier League, all for Fulham, against Wigan Athletic. He was released by Fulham on May 23, 2008.


Bocanegra was signed by Rennes in June 2008. He received the number 3 shirt, which is his number for the United States. Bocanegra performed well in his first season in France, appearing in all 38 league matches. He scored his first league goal on March 8, 2009, in Rennes's 2-0 victory over Auxerre. He also scored a goal in a UEFA Cup match and started all the club's Coupe de France matches. These include the final at the Stade de Francemarker on May 9, 2009, where he scored Rennes' first goal against Guingamp, in the 69th minute.

International career

Bocanegra played for the United States at the 1999 FIFA World Youth Championship and earned his first senior cap for the U.S. on December 9, 2001, against South Korea. He became a stalwart for the team in 2003, solidifying his position during the 2003 Gold Cup and leading all defenders with thirteen appearances during that year. During World Cup qualification in 2005, his role with the national team became less clear, as he bounced between roles at center back and left back. On May 2, 2006, Bocanegra was named to the United States World Cup roster for the tournament in Germanymarker. He started two of three games at left back during the 2006 World Cup.

Bocanegra captained the national team for the first time in a 4–1 U.S. victory in a June 2, 2007, friendly against China and reprised the role throughout the 2007 Gold Cup. In 2008, Bocanegra was first-choice captain for the national team.

Bocanegra captained the United States national team that defeated No. 1 ranked Spain to win one of the 2009 FIFA Confederations Cup semi-final games on June 24, 2009.

Personal life

Bocanegra is of Mexicanmarker descent on his father's side. He was born in Upland, California, to Kelly and Manuel Bocanegra and raised in Alta Loma, Rancho Cucamonga, California, where attended Alta Loma High School.

Career statistics


United States



  1. 2000 MLS Project 40
  2. Bocanegra Joins Fulham (Accessed 20 September 2007)
  3. (Accessed 20 September 2007)
  4. Bocanegra talks Fulham, Gold Cup, and more (Accessed 20 September 2007)
  5. Bocanegra proud to lead (Accessed 20 September 2007)
  6. Americans in England: Deuce on the loose (Accessed 20 September 2007)
  7. Bocanegra Joins Rennes (Assessed 20 June 2008)
  8. Rennes v. Auxerre Match Report
  9. U.S. National Team Upsets Top-Ranked Spain, 2-0, June 24, 2009
  10. US Soccer Interview (Accessed September 20, 2007)

External links

2000 Chicago Fire Major League Soccer 33 1 33 1
2001 15 1 15 1
2002 26 2 26 2
2003 19 1 19 1

2003-04 Fulham Premier League 15 0 15 0
2004-05 28 1 28 1
2005-06 21 1 21 1
2006-07 30 5 30 5
2007-08 22 1 22 1

2008-09 Rennes Ligue 1 38 1 5 1 4 1 47 3
2009-10 5 0 5 0

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