Carlos Bocanegra has been released from his contract with Rangers FC. Following a relatively unsuccessful loan spell at Racing Santander, Bocanegra and Rangers have parted ways by mutual consent, with Bocanegra not wanting to play in the third division of Scottish football next season.
If Bocanegra wants to continue playing soccer in a competitive league, make some good money or challenge to regain a national team place, Major League Soccer is probably his best option to do all of those things. As one of the most popular USMNT members ever, he'll likely command a good salary for the next season and a half. If he becomes one of the league's best center backs, Jurgen Klinsmann will be forced to reconsider not including him in the U.S. team.
Of course, none of that is a given. Bocanegra struggled to stay fit and in the Racing first choice starting XI last season as the club was relegated to the third tier of Spanish football. His performances and fitness simply haven't been up to his previously high standards over the last year. At 34 years old, it wouldn't be shocking if Bocanegra wasn't able to return to his previous level of performance.
Toronto FC are currently on top of the MLS Allocation Order, and central defense is the least of their problems. They would certainly be tempted to pass on Bocanegra to keep their spot or trade with a team desperate to land him. Seattle, Portland and New England are the next three teams in the order, but all play on turf. If the aging Bocanegra is trying to extend his career following numerous lower body injuries, he might not want to commit to playing 17-plus games per year on an artificial surface. Philadelphia, who sits fifth, plays on grass and could use both a center back and a popular national team player on their squad. Bocanegra's original team, the Chicago Fire, is 11th in the order.
If Bocanegra wants to go home, it might be tough for him to engineer a move. Chivas USA are 15th in the order with minimal assets (or appeal), while LA Galaxy sit 18th with minimal assets that they'd be willing to part with and decent central defense depth.
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