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Carlos Bocanegra

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100 Caps

I’ve got about 30 or 40 people flying in and it’s a special moment. I’m very lucky it happens to be during the Send-Off Series where there’s an incredible buzz. My family’s in Florida and my kids are here. I’ve thought about it a lot and it always takes me back to all 99 caps that came before it.

My first game sticks out. My mom flew down to Birmingham, Alabama, for the game. She was nervous as heck, and I was nervous as heck. But, that was the start of it. I remember it like it was yesterday even though now it’s so far away.

There are so many little milestones in between. I think when you get to 100 that one moment is special but really it just encompasses a long, hard process.

Even when I became the starter I think I was only on 20-some odd caps. I wasn’t shooting for 100 at all; I was just trying to play well. But, it shows you what hard work can do when you get your head down and focus on the task. I’ve been to U-17 World Championships, U-20 World Championships, Pan-Am Games in 1999, the Olympics in 2000. Those were pivotal moments were I learned how to be a professional. You learn what it takes to work hard every day and never look for excuses.

I’ve tried to make consistency a priority. I can remember that word being bounced around in my brain when I was 20-years old. That was always job one and that means going to work every day, not missing trainings and doing everything I can to be on the field.

In the early days, I was number two to Kasey Keller. I owe him such a big chunk of this 100 caps and such a big part of my career as well. I watched what it was like for a big-time goalkeeper to conduct himself in the important moments in the locker room or in games. He looked after me and taught me so many things. When I went to England, Kasey was the first person I called every day for advice. He probably got sick of me but he didn’t let me know.

Kasey and Tony Meola were my idols. I had a poster of Tony in my room growing up and now consider him a dear friend. To be able to be in the 100-cap club with those goalkeepers is special.

My first roommate was Jeff Agoos; he was a guy who I watched on TV as well. Then all of a sudden I was his roommate with the National Team. He probably wasn’t happy about that because I was just this young kid but he was brilliant to me.

The player who I admire most is my best friend and captain Carlos Bocanegra. We were on the field together for the 2009 Confederations Cup when we shocked the world by beating Spain.

That expression gets tossed around a little bit but we weren’t supposed to beat them. If you play sports though, you always hope you can capture that one moment in time and that night we did. We put it all together, played our hearts out and played amazing. If nothing else happens in my career that semifinal would be something I look back on with the fondest memories.

I’ve been with clubs and this National Team when they have had great leaders. I saw how they conducted themselves on the tough days and when the going was good. When you have success and when you’re a leader you have to be mature about it and be accountable. I think it’s important to be a good teammate, a good person and have each others’ back on and off the field.

It’s more important to me to reach 100 caps before the World Cup. I don’t want the distraction. Friends have mentioned how amazing it would be to get it in the opening game of the World Cup, but I would like to get it out of the way. The World Cup isn’t about pageantry, it’s about business and that’s really important to me.

I’m entering my third World Cup. I’ve seen it and we’ve done it. I was there in 2006 to be a part of the group. In 2010, I was able to play, and we had some magical moments I will cherish. But, we’re back here four years later and we know what we have in front of us. We know what level we need to get to in order to beat these three teams and get out of the group. The butterflies are flying around and I’m excited again.

Tim Howard’s 100 Caps: MNT Players Share Thoughts on Howard’s Achievement

U.S. Men’s National Team goalkeeper Tim Howard earned his 100th cap against Nigeria in Jacksonville on June 7, 2014. ussoccer.com heard from teammates past and present about Howard’s milestone and the consistency he has shown throughout his career to earn 100 appearances for the National Team.

Former U.S. Men’s National Team captain and defender CARLOS BOCANEGRA:
On Tim Howard’s 100 caps:
“Timmy is one of my best friends inside and outside of soccer. It’s great to see him have so many caps for the National Team. He’s been a great goalkeeper for us. We go back to the U-18s, U-20s, so we’ve been playing together for a long time. It’s great to see him get this great achievement.”

On Howard’s characteristics that make him a great goalkeeper:
“Everybody talks about his athleticism and his reflex saves and they see a lot of the highlights because he is such a great athlete. What they don’t see is his positioning and his command of the box. When you’re out there on the field, he’s so confident in being vocal and putting people in the right positions. He’s such a competitor and kind of a perfectionist in putting people in those spots to give us the best chance to win. All those little details make him such a good goalie.”

On playing with Howard on the field:
“When you have such confidence in your goalkeeper as the last line of defense, it’s another boost because you know if you mess up he’s going to help you out and pick you up back there. There’s a little bit of give and take sometimes with goalkeeper and defender relationships but he makes you feel comfortable out there.”

On his relationship with Howard through the years:
“We’ve had so many moments. We were in Nigeria for a month with the U-20s [in 1999]. We were at the Confederations Cup in 2009 in South Africa and the run we went on was so cool. The World Cup victories we had and the tough times you fall on together as well. And I’ll remember just playing golf with him, just as friends. We’ve built lifelong relationships and friendships. It’ll be cool when everything is said and done, we will be able to look back on it and talk about some of the past event and laugh a lot. He is old – he’s older than me, so he’s old [laughs]. And he’s not the best golfer.”

U.S. Men’s National Team midfielder MICHAEL BRADLEY:
On Tim Howard’s 100 caps:
“It’s an amazing accomplishment for anybody. Tim is a great friend and great teammate, and it will be a special night for all of us able to share his 100th. He’s shown over the past 10 years what an amazing goalkeeper he is. He’s meant so much to the National Team both on and off the field. It’s a credit to him and his consistency, and I think for everybody involved it will be a great night.”

On playing alongside Howard:
“He’s a guy I’ve been on the field with on a lot of days – good and bad. He’s somebody who gives the group so much. You look back there and he’s somebody who exudes confidence. He always finds a way to lift the group.”

U.S. Men’s National Team goalkeeper BRAD GUZAN:
On Tim Howard’s 100 caps:
“First and foremost, for anybody to get 100 caps is a huge achievement. As a goalkeeper it’s special because it talks about his consistency. The fact only one goalkeeper can play at a time speaks volumes about what he’s done during his career. I tip my hat to him.”

On being in so many Men’s National Team squads with Howard:
“It’s been really good to be his teammate all these years. He’s made me a better goalkeeper and he pushes me to be my best. This is a good environment and we have a good working relationship on and off the field. I think that’s important because when you have that good atmosphere, you tend to get the best out of people.”

On Howard’s leadership:
“He’s a very outspoken leader. Off the field, he’s not afraid to help guys and tell guys what needs to be done. On the field, being a goalkeeper you need to have that vocal leadership and more importantly lead by example. I think he’s done that during these 100 games and throughout his whole career.”

U.S. Men’s National Team goalkeeper NICK RIMANDO:
On Tim Howard’s 100 caps:
“I’m so happy for Timmy to get his 100th cap. I’ve known him for a while now and the hard work he puts in shows on and off the field. I couldn’t be more excited for him.

On Howard’s character:
“He’s a great guy, somebody that everybody can get along with and will give to anybody. He likes to have fun, but when it comes down to putting work in on the field, he puts it in. He’s just a leader on and off the field and somebody who you love to have as a teammate.”

On playing on youth team’s with Howard:
“We spent so much time on youth teams together, on the U-17s and U-20s going to those world championships. We created so many moments on and off the pitch, whether it was in Europe or South America, or qualifying for those tournaments. This is going to be a special moment for me to go to a senior World Cup with him.”

100 Moments USA Beats Algeria

ussoccer.com continues its "100 Moments" series with a look at one of the most dramatic moments in U.S. Men’s National Team history. Landon Donovan, Clint Dempsey, Michael Bradley, Tim Howard, Carlos Bocanegra, and Steve Cherundolo remember the 91st minute goal that gave the United States a 1-0 victory against Algeria to earn first place in Group C and a berth into the Round of 16 at the 2010 FIFA World Cup.

Studio 90 US MNT Ready for Test in Krasnodar Russia

The U.S. Men's National Team wraps up 2012 with an international friendly in Krasnodar, Russia. With big road wins already this year against Italy and Mexico, Jurgen Klinsmann's team will hope to finish the year on a high. Carlos Bocanegra, Michael Bradley and Herculez Gomez preview the match set for Nov. 14 at 10 a.m. ET on ESPN2, ESPN3 and Univision Deportes.

A critical leader both on and off the field, the U.S. captain continues to be a key presence in the squad. Possessing strength and deceptive speed, maturity and composure are also on the list of traits that have made him a mainstay on the U.S. backline. A two-time FIFA World Cup veteran, he surpassed 100 career caps in 2011 and now holds the record for most international goals scored by a U.S. defender. With 10 games played in 2012m he reached double digits in apperances for the sixth time in his national team career. Now in his ninth season in Europe that had previously taken him to England and France, 'Los' departed a relegated Rangers club in Scotland in 2012 where he had also warond the captian's armband to continue his overseas career at Racing Santander.

  • With his goal against Guatemala on Oct. 16, 2012, Bocanegra became the USA's all-time leading goalscorer for defenders with 14 total
  • Tied among U.S. players for career World Cup qualifying apperances with 31
  • Became the 12th U.S. player to reach 100 caps when he started in the 3-2 win on Nov. 15, 2011, against Slovenia
  • One of five U.S. players to play every minute of the 2010 FIFA World Cup
  • Has appeared in six World Cup matches spanning two tournaments
  • Played in 15 of 18 World Cup qualifiers in the 2010 cycle, notching game-winning goals in Guatemala in the semifinal round and against Honduras in the final phase
  • Captained the U.S. to the 2007 CONCACAF Gold Cup championship, his second regional title after first winning in 2002
  • Became one of the few players in U.S. Soccer history to simultaneously captain both his club side as well as the national team, which he did after captaining Fulham to a 3-3 draw against Tottenham on Sept. 1, and then took the armband for the USA in their game against Brazil on Sept. 9, 2007, in Chicago

 

 

2012: Started 10 matches, including five of six World Cup qualifiers ... Increased his career total to five goals in World Cup qualifying ... Bundled home the opening goal of the USA's 3-1 win against Antigua & Barbuda on June 8 in Tampa, earning Budweiser Man of the Match honors ... Repeated that feat on Oct. 16 against Guatemala, volleying in the tying goal that rallied the U.S. to a 3-1 win and first place in the group ... That goal marked his 14th career strike, setting the mark for U.S. defenders ... Captained the U.S. to the historic 1-0 victory on Feb. 29 against Italy in Genoa ... Injured hamstring in 2-2 draw against Russia on Nov. 14 in Krasnodar ... 2011: Reached 100 caps in the 3-2 win against Slovenia on Nov. 15 … One of two players, along with Tim Howard, to start every game under Jurgen Klinsmann … Ended the year tied for first with Howard for most matches played (15) and landed second for most minutes played, with 1291 … The 15 appearances were a career-high … Earned Man of the Match honors for his performance in the CONCACAF Gold Cup final loss against Mexico … Registered an assist in the March 26 game against Argentina when Juan Agudelo netted his rebound to equalize in the 1-1 tie … 2010: One of five U.S. players to play every minute of the 2010 FIFA World Cup … Deployed at left back against England and Slovenia, the captain shifted centrally against Algeria and Ghana … Scored the USA’s lone goal in the 2-1 loss on March 3 against World Cup runners up Netherlands in Amsterdam, heading home a free kick from DaMarcus Beasley …Started nine matches and finished second on the team in minutes played (759) … 2009: Started 14 of the U.S’s 24 matches, including all 10 final round qualifiers, a career best for appearances … Tied for second in most starts for the team, and finished in third in minutes played (1,200) … His diving header in the 68th minute on June 6 against Honduras earned the U.S. a 2-1 win and Bocanegra ussoccer.com Man of the Match honors … He also picked up a hamstring strain in that match, sidelining the team captain until the semifinals of the Confederations Cup … Made his return in the 2-1 semifinal victory against No.1-ranked Spain, starting at left back for the U.S. for the first time in nearly two years … 2008: Wore the captain's armband in all nine of his appearances for the U.S. in 2008 … Scored twice to take his career total  to 10 goals … Headed in a Beasley corner kick to give the U.S. its first World Cup qualifying win in Guatemala … Also tallied the game-winner in the USA’s comprehensive 3-0 victory against Poland on March 26 in Krakow, where he earned Man of the Match honors … 2007: Captained the United States to victory in the 2007 CONCACAF Gold Cup, the fourth time the team has won the title … Appeared in four of six Gold Cup games, scoring once against Panama in the quarterfinals … Made appearances in two 2007 victories against fierce rivals Mexico, including the memorable Gold Cup Final … Also served as captain and scored a goal in the USA’s 4-2 loss to Brazil in September … 2006: A member of the 2006 FIFA World Cup squad that competed in Germany … Though he did not feature in the opening match against the Czech Republic, he went on to start the next two matches against Italy and Ghana … Played left back in both of the World Cup games he started, completing 90 minutes in both matches … In total, he made four appearances for the squad in 2006 … 2005: Started six of 10 final round qualifiers and in total played in 11 of 18 qualifiers in his first World Cup qualifying campaign, recording one goal and two assists … Led all defenders in minutes played (958) in 2006 qualifying … Opened his World Cup qualifying scoring account in trademark fashion, heading home the USA’s first – and game-winning – goal in the important 3-0 road win against Panama on June 8 … His performance at both ends in that match earned him ussoccer.com Man of the Match honors … His hustle kept a U.S. attack alive, forcing a save from David James that handed Clint Dempsey the lone goal in the 2-1 loss to England in Chicago ...  2004: Maintained his presence in the attack, tallying one goal and three assists … His 88th minute strike pulled the U.S. level in a 1-1  draw against Poland on July 11 in Chicago …Set up Eddie Johnson’s first two goals in the USA’s 6-0 pasting of Panama in D.C. … Started in five of the USA’s eight World Cup qualifiers, his first participation in a qualifying campaign … Made 10 appearances and nine starts overall … 2003: Earned Man of the Match honors three times as he became the first U.S. defender since 1994 to score four goals in one year ... Notched his first international goal against Canada on Jan. 18 in Ft. Lauderdale, getting on the end of a Bobby Convey service … Scored a nearly identical goal in Jamaica on Feb. 13, again receiving a delivery from Convey … Netted the USA's lone goal against Brazil in the 2-1 semifinal loss in the CONCACAF Gold Cup ... Received consolation by getting the opening tally in the 3-2 victory against Costa Rica in the Third Place match … Made 13 appearances for the MNT, tied for second best on the side and the most of any U.S. defender … 2002: Started all five matches in the USA’s march to the 2002 CONCACAF Gold Cup championship prior to the World Cup … 2001: Made his debut with the full national team on Dec. 9, 2001, against Korea Republic … Trained with the U.S. prior to home World Cup qualifiers against Costa Rica on Apr. 28 and Jamaica on Oct. 7 … Under-23s: Helped the U.S. to a bronze medal in the 1999 Pan American Games … Scored his first U-23 goal against Canada in the third-place match ... Made seven international appearances with the U-23s … Under-20s: Played every minute at the 1999 World Youth Championship in Nigeria ... First Appearance: Dec. 9, 2001, vs. Korea … First Goal: Jan. 18, 2003, vs. Canada.
2012: With Rangers being relegated to the third division, he reluctantly left the club to join Santander in Spain's second division ... Sidelined for a moth after being injured in the USA's 2-2 draw against Russia on Nov. 14 ... Made 29 appearances for Rangers in the 2011/12 season, scoring four goals in all competitions ... handed the captain's armband several times by manager Ally McCoist ... 2011: Joined Rangers F.C. on a three-year contract from Saint-Etienne, signing with minutes to spare before the window closed to be eligible to play in the Europa League … Completed his contract the night of Aug. 17, then flew the next morning to Slovenia where he appeared in the Europa League game against Maribor … Played the full 90 minutes in each of his appearances for Rangers in the first half of the campaign … Scored his first SPL goal for Rangers in the 4-0 win against Dunfermline Athletic on Sept. 24 … Added an assist in the 2-0 win against Hearts on Oct. 23 … 2010-11: Joined fellow Ligue 1 side Saint-Etienne … Closed out the campaign with 35 appearances and two goals … Started all 15 league games for which he was available for St. Etienne in the first half of the 2010-11 season … Scored his side’s second goal when he pounded home a header in the 69th minute of a 2-2 draw on Dec. 5 against Bordeaux … 2009-10: A regular in the Rennes backline that gave up the third fewest goals in Ligue 1 during the 2009-10 campaign … Finished his final season with Rennes making 29 appearances and 27 starts in all competitions … A groin injury sidelined him for several weeks at the end of the season … 2008-09: Joined Rennes on a free transfer in June after four seasons at Fulham … Wearing the No. 3 shirt, he immediately became a regular for the club … Scored his first goal for Rennes in a 2-1 defeat of FC Twente in the UEFA Cup on Sept. 19 ... Scored a goal in the final of the Coupe de France on May 9, but it wasn’t enough to hold off Guingamp, who won 2-1 at the Stade de France … Started all 38 league games in his first season in France, with Rennes finishing in seventh place … 2007-08: In his last season with Fulham, he was part of the club's memorable fight against relegation, which ultimately ended in success on the final day of the season … Teamed up with four other U.S. internationals in Clint Dempsey, Kasey Keller, Eddie Johnson and Brian McBride ... After Brian McBride was sidelined with an injury in late August, he stepped into the role of temporary captain for the club, a position that he simultaneously held for both club and country … His appearance against Wigan on Sept. 15 marked his 100th game for the club in all competitions … 2006-07: Proved to be a banner year as he made a career high 30 appearances for Fulham … Also chipped in with five crucial goals, another career high, making him second top scorer at Fulham as the club barely avoided relegation … Scored a vital goal against Chelsea to secure a draw away from home … 2005-06: After opening the 2005-06 season with a minor knee injury, he assumed a regular role in Fulham’s central defense … Played in 14 of 16 league matches for which he was available in first half of the year … 2004-05: His first full season in England, he grabbed the full-time position at left back … Despite sitting out seven of the last eight matches, finished the 2004-05 seasons with 28 appearances in EPL play … Scored his first goal in a Fulham uniform in the 4-3 loss at Portsmouth on Aug. 30 … 2003-04: Became an instant addition to the Fulham backline, playing every single match for which he was available after joining the team mid-January, a total of 19 in all competitions … Made his Fulham debut Jan. 19 at Newcastle, marking legendary striker Alan Shearer … 2003: Earned MLS Defender of the Year honors for the second consecutive season, claiming his second spot on the Best XI as well … In his second consecutive MLS All-Star appearance, set up Carlos Ruiz for the game-winning goal against Chivas … Anchored the Chicago Fire backline to their third appearance in the MLS Cup final in five years ... Started 19 of 30 matches, missing playing time while cementing his spot with the national team … 2002: Named MLS Defender of the Year in 2002 and a member of the Best XI … Started and played 26 matches for Chicago, recording two goals and three assists … Named an MLS All-Star … Scored the game-winning goal and earned an assist to give the Fire a 5-4 win against Columbus on June 5 … 2001: Scored a goal in the MLS Cup Playoffs … Finished his second season with Chicago making 13 starts in 15 appearances … Registered a career-high four points, scoring one goal and tallying two game-winning assists for four points ... Sidelined for almost half a season due to a left ankle sprain suffered on May 12 at New England, missing 12 games ... 2000: Honored as the MLS Rookie of the Year in 2000, after helping the Fire to the MLS Cup championship match and the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup title … Started and played in 27 of 32 games.
One of his most rewarding soccer moments came in the 1999 World Youth Championship in Nigeria when the U.S. U-20s took on England … Likes to play video games and is known to shred on guitar during Rock Band sessions on the road … Named one of E! Entertainment Television’s Top 10 Sexiest Sports Stars … One of five players featured in Interview Magazine photo shoot prior to the 2010 FIFA World Cup … Chosen to present the USA’s 2022 World Cup Bid Book to Sepp Blatter in Zurich … Enjoys listening to R&B and alternative hip-hop … Lists his older brother Diego as the most influential person in his soccer career … Holds the basketball record at his high school for best free throw percentage … Enjoys eating Mexican food and bagels … His nickname is “Los.”
Finished his collegiate career at UCLA after his 1999 junior season, in which he earned Second Team NSCAA All-America honors and for third consecutive year was chosen First Team All-Far West (1997-1999) … Voted as a First-Team College Soccer Online All-America … Started 23 of 24 games in 1999, tallying two goals and two assists … Concluded his three seasons with 57 career games played, including 55 starts and nine goals and 10 assists.
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