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Chivas USA acquire top MLS Allocation Order spot, sign Bocanegra

Carlos Bocanegra


After seeing a steady exodus of players leave Chivas USA over the past few months, it appears the Goats are finally ready to start adding some major pieces to a squad in dire need of help.

Chivas USA made a blockbuster move on Monday, trading a 2015 1st-round pick and international roster spot through 2014 to Toronto FC for the top spot in the MLS Allocation Order. They then used that spot to select Carlos Bocanegra, who they signed to a new deal on Monday.

The move gives the Goats a veteran leader to anchor the team’s struggling defense, as well as a player with ties to the Southern California area. His arrival suggests the club is serious about bolstering its roster after dumping so many players in pre-season, and even this past weekend.

Sources tell SBI that Bocanegra is the first of at least three major moves the Goats have planned in the coming days. Young Mexican forwards Erick Torres and David Izazola are set to join Chivas USA in the next week, sources confirmed to SBI on Monday. Torres, 20, and Izazola, 21, were teammates on Mexico’s Under-20 World Cup team in 2011.

The trade is a boon for Toronto FC, which receives a first-round pick in 2015 and an international roster spot that will run through 2014. That is a good haul for an allocation slot Toronto FC wasn’t guaranteed to use anyway.

Bocanegra returns to MLS after 10 years in Europe. He spent time with Fulham, Stade Rennes, St. Etienne, Glasgow Rangers and Racing Santander. Drafted in 2000 by the Chicago Fire, Bocanegra established himself as one of the best centerbacks in the history of MLS before leaving for Fulham via free transfer following the 2004 season.

Bocanegra joins Clarence Goodson as U.S. Men’s National Team pool centerbacks to return from Europe in the past week. Bocanegra was left off the Gold Cup roster in order to sort out his club situation, at least that was the explanation given by Jurgen Klinsmann at the time. It will be interesting to see whether Bocanegra’s finalized deal with Chivas USA paves the way for him to join the U.S. Gold Cup squad in case of an injury.

What do you think of Bocanegra moving to Chivas USA? Like the move? Think it’s career suicide? Starting to think the Goats might actually revamp and return being the competitive team they were when the season began?

Share your thoughts below.


  1. …so does this mean he is no longer playing in the Messi and Friends game in Chicago on Saturday? I was curious how he would stand up against that level of competition…even if it was just an exhibition.

  2. Hey, can someone explain to me, in a nutshell, what the difference between Bocanegra’s return to MLS and Clarence Goodson’s…i.e., why did a MLS team have the ability to own Goodson’s rights (as SJ did, if I understand correctly) upon his return to MLS, as opposed to Bocanegra who had to go through the Allocation process? I get it…but I don’t get it.

    • MLS roster rules are the exclusive province of an elite group of philosopher-kings who have access to the Secret Book of Garber. The rest of us are required to wait upon their pronouncements, and then thank them for their wisdom and enlightenment.

    • Bocanegra left MLS on a free transfer. No one owned his rights once he left. SJ still owned Goodson’s rights when he left. If no one owns your rights, you go through allocation.

      • Yeah but if the Fire offered him a new deal and he turned it down we should still own his rights right? I really don’t think our ownership was that dumb not to offer him a new deal

      • Ok, but didn’t Goodson (and Robbie Rogers also) leave on free transfers when they left Dallas and Columbus, respectively? Didn’t they both just let their MLS contracts expire before heading overseas? If I’m wrong, please correct me. Thanks!

      • If an MLS team gives a player an acceptable offer and they still go overseas, then that team still has their rights. If the player is sold or no offer is given and they transfer, then the team no longer has rights and he is distributed through allocation.

      • Ah, gotcha. So it really comes down to “intent to keep” a player at the time of his departure that determines how he’s handled upon his return. MLS Roster Rules: always an adventure! Thanks.

  3. I thought Chivas did not want any American players on their squad. Did the reverse discrimination thing catch up with them in the courts already?

  4. He’d better brush up on his Spanish. In past interviews, he admitted to not being fluent, although a year in Spain may have fixed that.

  5. All moves that will earn chivas a few extra ties.

    As a fan of RSL I’m glad they’re bad and playing them is as close to a sure win in the west as there is. I hope they stick around for a while longer.

    Boca will help but he can’t cover for all if chivas defenders.

  6. Career suicide? His career is winding down anyway. This is the pre-retirement celebratory lap.

    Boca isn’t as old as some others who can still play at higher levels, but not all athletes age on the same timetable. I like Boca a lot, but his legs are looking pretty old. And, personally, I’m guessing he told JK he’d just rather not play in the Gold Cup. When you are on the way up, playing with the B squad is exciting – a step toward maybe bigger things. When you are on the way back down, it’s not. It’s just more ice baths from additional games away from your club team.

  7. I like Boca, I think he is a good DB amd has a lot to bring to the table but his career trajectory, even for hios age has distinctivly turned downward.

    USMNT-> World Cup -> Premier League (Fulham) -> Scottish Premier League and Champions League(Rangers), then downhill

    Rangers Demotion to FOURTH Division>Spanish 2nd Division-> Racing Santander (bottom of League-> MLS-> Chivas (Bottom of League)

    You might argue that Boca is a “fixer” brought to stop deterioration and right the ship. maybe, but the man has been in more shipwreclks than Robinson Crusoe.

      • Actually, he played linebacker in college, then made the switch to strong safety because the Bears needed help in the defensive backfield. They always say he ‘runs like a back, hits like a linebacker.’

      • I don’t know about you, but I thought Boca would sign with a veteran team like the Niners or Pats, where he’d have a real chance at lifting the Lombardi Trophy come playoff time.

    • I’m not sure you can really blame Rangers’ problems on the players. The fact is that they were a very good team but management ultimately screwed them over which forced their demotion to the fourth league.

      • @bottlcaps, Boca had absolutely nothing to do with what happened at Rangers. Technically, their team was dissolved (“wound up”) to pay the back taxes owed by the team/owners. They then began as a “new co” and were admitted at the bottom, where any new team would go. His only mistake was moving to Rangers in the first place.

  8. Chivas USA has now traded away its #1 draft pick in 2014 and 2015, and now they retreat to the back of the allocation order. They have made these moves for a hustling but average LB/LM and a rapidly aging CB. Not only do they have little talent, they have limited their opportunities to bring in new talent.


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