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Bocanegra sidelined six weeks with hamstring tear

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It looks like Carlos Bocanegra will not play another game this year.

Bocanegra is expected to miss the next six weeks with a left hamstring tear, according to his club, Racing Santander. Bocanegra suffered the injury early in the first half of the U.S. Men’s National Team’s 2-2 draw with Russia on Wednesday and had to be replaced.

The timetable of recovery for Bocanegra means the U.S. captain should be healthy around when the new year begins, and he should have enough time to get match fit and sharp for the Americans’ World Cup qualifier at Honduras on Feb. 6. Still, the injury raises concerns as to who will take his place next to Geoff Cameron in the U.S. defense during the Hexagonal round of qualifying should Bocanegra ever be injured or suspended.

What do you think of Bocanegra’s injury? How concerned are you about the lack of depth behind Bocanegra? Who would you like to see groomed to play centerback next to Geoff Cameron?

Share your thoughts below.


  1. Too bad hope he gets back asap.. Until then i hope they have a january camp with besler-gonzalez and john ready to go. Ream, Edu, Parkhurst, Goodson and Orozco all have to be in the mix but need to do something with their clubs between now and feb to get the shot

  2. Hamstring tears take a while to recover from. Not sure how big the tear is, but speaking from own personal experience with this type of injury, it’s more 9-10 weeks than 6 really to fully recover and be 100%. I don’t think he’ll be fit enough for the hex opener.

  3. Damn. he wont be coming to the World Cup. Replace him with Howard as captain. And have out cwnterback pairing be Cameron-Gonzalez with subs being Ream/Gooch

    • No quibble from me with trying another CB out with Cameron in the starting XI, but cutting Boca from the roster altogether for Gooch is never going to happen, nor should it. Gooch’s time on the MNT is probably done, while Boca still has utility even off the bench as someone who can also step in at LB in an emergency.

      • I can see boca being a bench/roster player in 2014. Certainly useful just not a 90 min everyday player going forward

  4. I agree with Weston John, its time for Omar to step in and make this spot his for the foreseeable future. Although I wouldn’t mind giving DeMerit one more look if its needed. I think Besler is still a few years away, but I could be wrong.

  5. Hamstring tear … I’d be shocked if he comes back 100% in 6 weeks especially at his age. Hamstring tear are an extremely delicate injury and need to be handled with the utmost of care.

    • OG has been great since his return from the pre-season injury at Nurnberg. I think JK owes him. it was JK that urged him to go to Nurnberg and of course it was Tim Chandler’s wild tackle that blue out his knee.

      The timing always has been awful for Gonzales. It seems every time there is a friendly, the Galaxy are involved in the playoffs or in an international match. This has been good for the Galaxy, who are in the Western conference finals and the CCL quarters. But now the USMNT needs him.

      I predict Gonzales will be paired with Cameron in the Hex and WC. I think Onyewu, if he stays healthy will be called in as he is finally getting playing time with Onyewu, but the future bodes well for a Comeron/Gonzales central defense.

    • My question on OG is will he focus on the NT through the early qualifiers or are we about to get caught up in his club ambitions again? Because what happened last time is he campaigned for the NT, but also had his club ambitions, and when they both sprouted in January, he tested the club route and ultimately scotched both. Cameron took the spot by default despite uneven play and cards.

      So to me it’s like can he sit on the club crap for a while, be content with LA, and establish himself with the Nats, which can then be a springboard to Europe, voila, both accomplished. In fact, the progression Cameron took. I still think establishing with the Nats first is the best approach for MLSers because you can get the work permit arguments lined up through some NT caps if you have UK ambitions. Of course if his ideas are in Germany or elsewhere, less relevant. But I still think the wiser progression.

      Far as Gooch goes, he would have to look a house afire because that Antigua performance was awful.

      • As JK was universally urging his younger players to take advantage of training opportunities in Europe last winter, I don’t necessarily see that as ignoring his International career in favor of club… in fact he may well have been encouraged by the Klinsman to do so. The best thing any player can do to increase his chances for a call up are to work hard to advance his development as a player.

  6. It was really stupid of Klinsmann not to call in another central defender (or 2) for the Russia match for testing purposes. And just as Klinsmann left out other regulars, such as Dempsey and Zusi, there was really no reason to call in Boca. The Russia friendly could have been used to test young CBs, just as it was used to test Gatt, Agudelo, Mix, and to give Gyau a taste of the big-time.

    • I see your point, but when you have an inexperienced CB with Geoff Cameron, who doesn’t even play the position at club level, its good to have a veteran like Bocanegra around to guide him along.
      That being said, I agree with the sentiment around here that if JK doesn’t start hedging his bets, there’s a good chance he will get caught out with old Boca, or a incapable Goodson.

    • Who else would JK have called in at center back?

      Besler just finished a grueling season with Sporting KC and could clearly use a break, Omar Gonzalez and George John are still in the MLS playoffs, and players like DeMerit are Marshall are already known quantities to the USMNT. Tim Ream might be the only other real candidate at this point, and he’s had an up-and-down year for Bolton.

    • Omar and Beisler have more upside. I’d trust borchers or demirit in a one off, but wouldnt want either as a starter heading into the world cup. Time to blood OG or someone else.

      Carlos’s hamstring may have just forced a January camp.

  7. a good reason to have Camp Cupcake with a bunch of centerbacks to cycle through….Goodson, I assume is the near-term patch, since there is literally no one else who has played CB next to Cameron recently (Edu has barely played at all since the Mexico game, way back when)…

    • After the past few performances I was disappointed we didn’t use Russia to audition more backs. I didn’t think we needed a repeat performance to learn anything, and in terms of the backs on the goal it was basically re-learning Boca and Goodson’s issues….beyond the Williams blunder, etc.

      And the problem will now be time will run short before the qualifiers and do we even have a game between now and then to try new players? Or are we stuck in a situation where we either risk games that count experimenting, or wait until Gold Cup risking the leak continuing to drip?

      How is Goodson the patch he’s one of the holes leaking goals.

  8. Always liked him, but at this point any starts he gets for the NT will have more to do with things like “Experience” and “veteran presence” than anything relating to ability.
    Hopefully someone like Besler or Omar can come in and adapt to starting next to Geoff fast.

    • Too bad for Boca, this is a bad time to go down with an injury as it won’t give him much time to recover for the Hex.

      For someone that’s been the captain and an awesome player for USMNT for so long, I’d hate to see it come to an end because of an injury in a friendly. I have no problem trying out other CB options, but it’s clear that Boca is the best option until somebody else proves otherwise. People can talk about Gonzo and Besler, but they’re unproven and neither of them have played on an international stage where results matter.


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