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Carlos Bocanegra elected to National Soccer Hall of Fame

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He’s the lone inductee in 2020.

Soccer - FIFA World Cup 2010 Qualifying - Honduras vs. USA Photo by Rick Osentoski/Icon SMI/Corbis/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

The Captain is headed to Frisco. Today, the National Soccer Hall of Fame in Frisco, Texas announced that Carlos Bocanegra was elected as the lone inductee of the Class of 2020. Because of the coronavirus pandemic, this year’s ceremony was canceled and he will be inducted next year along with the inductees from the Class of 2021.

Bocanegra, who is currently the technical director for Atlanta United, was given the news by former United States Men’s National Team teammate Tim Howard during a videoconference at the Atlanta United training facility.

Carlos Bocanegra is the 305th person to be enshrined in the National Soccer Hall of Fame. He enters the Hall as the player who has worn the captain’s armband the most times in USMNT history, captaining the team in 64 of his 110 caps. He also had 14 goals for the national team, the most by any defender. He was a part of the 2002 and 2007 Gold Cup-winning teams and also was an integral part of the USMNT for the 2006 and 2010 World Cups.

His club career spanned 15 seasons and seven teams: the Chicago Fire, Fulham, Rennes, Saint-Étienne, Rangers FC, Racing Santander, and Chivas USA. With the Fire, Bocanegra won MLS Rookie of the Year in 2000, was a 2-time MLS Defender of the Year (2002, 2003), and won 2 U.S. Open Cups (2000, 2003).

Carlos Bocanegra was named on 68.5% of all ballots, eclipsing the election threshold of 66.7%. It’s the 4th time in 6 years that only one person met the threshold for election to the National Soccer Hall of Fame. Last year, it was Abby Wambach that was the lone inductee.

USMNT and USWNT players that were in the top 10 but didn’t reach the 66.7% of ballots needed to be enshrined include Steve Cherundolo (57.3% of all ballots), Hope Solo (57.3%), Kate Markgraf (52.2%), Shannon Boxx (52.2%), Frankie Hejduk (46.6%), Steve Ralston (30.9%), and Lauren Holiday (27.0%).

Congratulations to Carlos Bocanegra on his election to the National Soccer Hall of Fame, a well deserved accolade for one of the greatest defenders in U.S. Soccer history!