Photo by Andrew Fielding/USA TODAY Sports
By RYAN TOLMICH
Carlos Bocanegra saw a 15-year professional career come to a close in 2014, but the former U.S. Men’s National Team centerback has hopped right back in the game to take charge of a brand new project.
MLS Atlanta announced Monday that the club has hired Bocanegra as its first technical director. The former defender, who will join club president Darren Earles in April, will be charged with overseeing day-to-day soccer operations such as scouting, academy development and player wellness.
“I feel very fortunate to have played the game of soccer professionally for so many years and am excited to be part of something special here in Atlanta,” Bocanegra said. “I’ve always wanted to stay involved with soccer at the top level, and to have that opportunity with MLS Atlanta is a great way to start this next chapter. I’m a competitor and I look forward to bringing that drive and passion into everything I do here in Atlanta.”
Bocanegra retired as a member of Chivas USA following the 2014 campaign, calling an end to a career that took the defender to England, Scotland, France, and Spain. A two time MLS Defender of the Year, Bocanegra also earned 110 caps for the U.S. Men’s National Team and served as captain for six years.
“We’re very pleased to have Carlos join us as technical director,” said Earles. “With over 100 caps for his country, and experience playing both in MLS and top European leagues, he will bring a special skill set and presence to our club. He has an excellent reputation as a mature, confident leader and we have no doubt that he will thrive in the front office as much as he did on the pitch.”
MLS Atlanta, which will be named at a later date, is set to begin play in 2017.
What do you think of the hiring? How will Bocanegra fare as technical director?
Share your thoughts below.
i think everyone has mad respect for boca. they should make him technical director of atlanta 2 in usl for a couple of years, first. then, move up to assistant technical director of the first team. then, he’s in position to slot right into TD of the first team when that position becomes available.
As the Arena and Bradley era of NT’rs end their careers, it’s going to be interesting what changes they bring as they transition to front office positions. I think this is great for US Soccer at the club and international levels.
Right into technical director from the playing field . Really ?. Being a soccer pro is NOT a qualification for technical director. What a joke. And please dont say anything about smart or learning on the job, Blah, Blah. Get an experienced person, make Boca an apprentice or coach of the 15 year olds for a while. Oh yeah, get a license first. This shows Atlanta is not a serious organization.
Not sure I agree. I depends how they assign responsibilities. The article mentions, scouting, academy development, and player wellness as his responsibilities; I’m not sure that involves much technical involvement/coaching with the first team. As a guy who has played in Scottland, England, France and Spain, I imagine he can be quite helpful in academy development and advising young academy prospects about the realities of going to Europe
I agree with you Wood. Carlos Bocanegra wasn’t just some semi-pro fringe club player. He was US Captain and professional for 15 years. After a 15 years you don’t have blinders. He has the pedigree and the insight on the professional/business aspects of the game and has much to offer.
Boca’s strength is leadership. If he can translate that into building leaders within the ATL franchise, great things will come. (On and off the pitch).
This bodes well for my future club
Boca’s extremely well spoken, well respected, and very cultured with his 10 yrs. abroad. That necessarily doesn’t make you a good Technical Director but it certainly lays a solid foundation. Boca never displayed special talents but his success was derived from knowing how to get the most out of his skill set.I think he will take the same smart, calculated approach as a Technical Director. Boca is a natural leader and that will serve ATL well.
I’ve always had tremendous respect for Boca. It was too bad the way his Nats career ended, but I’m glad he’s still involved. I hope he can have an impact on Atlanta like Gregg Berhalter has had on the Crew
All international careers come to an end. That’s the harsh reality of professional soccer.
I don’t think this is a fair response. Yes, they all end. Don’t think Sushant was concerned about that. He specifically said “the way” it ended and I (for one at least) agree. From a fan standpoint, Boca was an easy guy to get excited about and cheer for. Great representative for club and country.
Fair has nothing to do with it.
I’m not a fan of testimonial matches at the international level. Whether you’re a captain, good guy or the greatest player in national team history.
Club is a different story.
Then only comment in this post about testimonial matches is yours. That’s 2 for 2 for putting words in other people’s mouths. Boca knew his international career was winding down/ending, and based on the little I have heard or seen from him, I doubt seriously that he didn’t respect the process or the end. There’s still a good way to handle it from the management standpoint and it’s not obvious to me that it was handled with class or respect in Boca’s case. To be honest, I’m not a fan of testimonials either, but your feelings on that are irrelevant because they are not in response to the original post. Nor was the notion that careers don’t come to an end.
CG completely agree with your comments on Boca and the end to his Nats career.