Former U.S. captain Bocanegra to retire
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Carlos Bocanegra (center) won a pair of CONCACAF Gold Cup titles with the United States. (Photo: FIFA via Getty Images)

CARSON, California -- Former United States captain Carlos Bocanegra announced Thursday his plans to retire at the conclusion of the current Major League Soccer season.  A two-time FIFA World Cup veteran, the 35-year-old finishes an accomplished 15-year professional career. Former United States captain Carlos Bocanegra announced Thursday his plans to retire at the conclusion of the current Major League Soccer season.

The defender, who currently plays with Chivas USA, made his national team debut against Korea Republic on December 9, 2003, and with 110 career appearances, became the 12th U.S. player to surpass the 100-game mark.

"I'm still hungry for the game and I want to play, but unfortunately you can't play forever,” said Bocanegra.  "The timing is right for me.  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 began his professional career with the Chicago Fire in 2000, establishing himself immediately as a starter and was named MLS Rookie of the Year. That same year, he helped the club reach finals in both the MLS Cup and U.S. Open Cup.

In January 2004, Bocanegra signed with English Premier League side Fulham FC, for which he appeared in 133 games, scoring eight goals while becoming the team captain.

After his stint in the EPL, Bocanegra moved on to the French Ligue 1, where he played for Stade Rennes Football Club (2008-10) and AS Saint Étienne (2010-11).  Bocanegra then joined Scotland’s Rangers FC (2011-12), before concluding nearly a decade in European soccer with Spain’s Racing Santander (2012-13).

He was a member of the U.S. squad that participated in the 1999 FIFA U-20 World Cup in Nigeria and the under-23 team that captured bronze at the 1999 Pan American Games.

A critical leader both on and off the field, he played in two FIFA World Cups (2006, 2010), two FIFA Confederations Cups (2003, 2009) and four CONCACAF Gold Cups (2002, 2007, 2009, 2011), where the U.S. twice came away champions (2002, 2007).