Three U.S. internationals have left Glasgow this summer. First it was Alejandro Bedoya to Helsingborg. Then Maurice Edu was rescued by Stoke. Now, U.S. captain Carlos Bocanegra has found his life raft (albeit a temporary one), loaned to Racing Santander in Spain’s second division.
Who is he: Like a couple of other U.S. internationals who moved on Friday, Carlos Bocanegra is a known commodity around these parts. He went from UCLA to Major League Soccer before a long spell at Fulham. After leaving Craven Cottage, Bocanegra spent three years in Ligue 1 before moving to Glasgow, where had would eventually wear the armband for Rangers.
He is best known for doing the same with the U.S. men’s national team, with whom he’s made 106 appearances, scoring 13 goals.
What does he do: In defense, Bocanegra can play both centrally and on the left, though he projects as a center half at Racing. A high playing IQ makes up for Bocanegra’s lack of foot speed. While not physically imposing (6’0″), Bocanegra’s strength is an asset, with his ability on set pieces helping him register a career high five goals during the 2006-07 season at Fulham.
How much did he cost: It’s a season-long loan, though there’s no word on who’s covering wages, to what extent, and if there’s an additional fee. Nobody seems to tell us these things about loan deals.
How does he fit: With Racing thin in the middle, Bocanegra shouldn’t have any trouble keeping a spot in the team. The style of play, however, may be a challenge, particularly shifting from the Scottish Premier League. In the SPL, Bocanegra’s physicality made him a good fit. In the Segunda, Bocanegra’s speed may be tested more often.
With Rangers playing in the fourth division, Bocanegra had to move. Spain’s second division isn’t ideal, but as we saw over the last year with Mexico’s Andres Guardado (then playing for Deportivo La Coruña), it’s possible to maintain your international form while playing in the Segunda.
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