US SOCCER NATION BLOG: Sunday June 29, 2008
USA CAPTAIN CARLOS BOCANEGRA TO PLAY FOR STADE RENNAIS FC
OK, this news took place last Wednesday June 25th, so I'm expecting that everyone has already heard about it. However, this is the first chance I've gotten to write about it and I really thought it was in our groups best interest to cover the story, even though it's coming a little late.
Carlos Bocanegra, the Captain of the US Men's National Team, has just signed a three year contact with Ligue 1 Club Rennes in France. Bocanegra had most recently played for Fullham of the English Premier League. After a four season tour with Fullham, he was released earlier this year on May 23,2008. Carlos played in 116 matches and scored 8 goals as a Center Back during his tenure in the EPL and also became the Fullham Captain. Bocanegra, now 29 years old, began his career with the MLS's Chicago Fire from 2000-2004. As a graduate of UCLA, Bocanegra was drafted by Chicago as the fourth overall pick in the 2000 MLS SuperDraft and won the MLS Rookie Of The Year Award in his initial season. After a sensational 2000 campaign, Bocanegra was credited with having a large part in Chicago's run to the MLS Cup against the Kansas City Wizards, where on October 15th of that year, Chicago's Championship hopes came to an end with a 1-0 loss at RFK Stadium in Washington,DC in front of a crowd of 39,159 people. With Bocanegra, The Fire captured the 2000 Lamar Hunt US Open Cup. Bocanegra went on to become one of the top defenders in the MSL winning The Defender Of The Year Award in 2002 and again in 2003.
After being released by Fullham in May, Bocanegra returned to the US and resumed his starting roll on the USA Men's National Team. He made it no secret that he still had a strong desire to play in Europe and he left himself open to contract discussions. One month and two days later, Bocanegra penned a deal with the French Football Club Rennes who finnished in a disappointing sixth place in France's Ligue 1 in 2007-08. Rennes Manager Guy Lacombe has welcomed Bocanegra with open arms and believes that he's going to make a big difference in Rennes starting line up in the upcoming season and I for one, am confident that Rennes has found the right man for the job. Lets all wish Carlos the very best of luck with his new club and most importantly, lets make sure to give Carlos and the rest of Team USA our support on their bid for the 2010 World Cup in South Africa