[MLS TRANSACTIONS]Carlos Bocanegra is returning to MLS after 10 years in Europe. Chivas USA, winless in more than three months, would seem to be a surprise move for a player who hopes to play himself back into contention for a spot on the U.S. national team, but he says he's up for the challenge.
"They're struggling a bit with the results on the field, but they made it quite clear to me that they're looking to turn things around," Bocanegra told reporters. "With me signing with them, they're hoping it's a first step in the right direction. Me coming home, which I'm very excited about, is an opportunity and a good challenge."
Chivas USA signed former U.S. national team captain after receiving the first allocation ranking slot from Toronto FC in exchange for the Rojiblancos' 2015 first-round SuperDraft pick and an international roster spot through 2014.
Bocanegra, 34, will be eligible to to play for Chivas USA once the North American summer transfer window opens on July 9. He'll join the team for training prior to its match July 12 in Philadelphia.
By then, Chivas USA could have made several other moves. Reports out of Mexico suggest that it will swoop to sign forwards Erick Torres, 20, and David Izazola, 21, on loan from Guadalajara and UNAM, respectively.
Bocanegra, who grew up in Southern California and played at UCLA, started his career with the Chicago Fire before moving to Europe, where he played 267 league games with five teams in four different countries.
His contract was most recently owned by Rangers, which loaned him to Spanish second division club Racing Santander after Rangers went bankrupt and was demoted to the fourth level of Scottish soccer.
Racing Santander was relegated after the 2012-13 season, and Bocanegra, who has 112 caps for the USA, looked to return to MLS and gain steady playing time in a bid to return to the national team.
He has not played for the USA in 2013 after captaining it for the six previous years, including at the 2010 World Cup underBob Bradley, his first coach with the Fire, and during the first year and a half of Jurgen Klinsmann's tenure.
"I think his experience is going to be very valuable for us," said Chivas USA Sporting President Dennis te Kloese in a statement, "as he knows MLS well from when he played for Chicago Fire, and has a long track record with the U.S. men’s national team."
GP/G TEAM (LEAGUE) YEAR
27/1 Chicago Fire (MLS) 2000
15/1 Chicago Fire (MLS) 2001
26/2 Chicago Fire (MLS) 2002
19/1 Chicago Fire (MLS) 2003
15/0 Fulham (England PL) 2003-04
28/1 Fulham (England PL) 2004-05
20/1 Fulham (England PL) 2005-06
30/5 Fulham (England PL) 2006-07
22/1 Fulham (England PL) 2007-08
38/1 Rennes (France D1) 2008-09
26/1 Rennes (France D1) 2009-10
34/2 St. Etienne (France D1) 2010-11
1/0 St. Etienne (France D1) 2011-12
29/2 Rangers (Scotland PL) 2011-12
3/0 Rangers (Scotland D3) 2012-13
21/0 Racing Santander (Spain D2) 2012-13