Former US national team captain Carlos Bocanegra is to hang up his boots at the end of the 2014 MLS season.
The centre back, who is enjoying the 15th season of his professional career, returned to Chivas USA from a spell in Spain in 2013. His career has seen him win two Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cups with Chicago Fire, and play for EPL club Fulham.
Bocanegra’s decision to retire wasn’t a snap one. He said:
“I’m still hungry for the game and I want to play, but unfortunately you can’t play forever. 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. 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.”
The 35-year-old earned more than 100 caps playing for his country, and was first called up for duty in 2003. He played in the 2006 World Cup, and went on to captain the side in the 2010 tournament. The last time he played for the United States was in February 2013.
National team coach Jurgen Klinsmann paid tribute, saying:
“Carlos deserves a huge, huge compliment for a great career.
“He proved himself with consistency at a high level for many years, and he was an outstanding captain and role model for the National Team. He was a great player and an even better leader, and we wish him all the best.”