One of the most interesting rumors to cross our path in some time has materialized in the last couple days, with former U.S. Men's National Team captain Carlos Bocanegra rumored to be on his way to Chivas USA.
Bocanegra, 34, was released by Scottish club Rangers today, due to the size of his contract. In a statement released by the club, they specifically cited Chivas USA as a possible destination for the defender.
There have been rumors circulating for months that Bocanegra could be set to return to MLS (he spent 2000-04 with the Chicago Fire), but given Chivas' upheaval the Goats were never mooted as a possibility until the last 48 hours. Reports indicate that he wants to go to a team on the West Coast, and as a native of Southern California, either of the two LA-based teams seem like logical destinations in that sense. I have not heard any rumors about Bocanegra coming to the LA Galaxy, however. He is of Mexican heritage, so that would fit the predominant player profile of Chivas USA at the moment, although if he did come to the Goats he would clearly not be eligible for a move to Chivas de Guadalajara, owing to his extensive USMNT service.
What complicates the idea that Chivas USA could get Bocanegra is twofold: First, it appears Bocanegra would have to go through the Allocation Order upon return to the league. Although Chivas finished with a poor record last year, two trades made in the last several months (a trade with Portland in December, and the Shalrie Joseph trade during the preseason) means their current slot in the Allocation Ranking is very low, number 15 to be exact. Unless they have some sort of sweetheart deal with either Portland or Seattle (and I highly doubt that), Chivas would need to figure out a way to move up in the order. With their current squad, what exactly do they have as trade assets?
Of course, Bocanegra could force his way to the Goats, something that is largely frowned upon but that does happen with some players who come into the league, depending on their stature. The second issue is whether Chivas would really be willing to pay Bocanegra, who almost certainly would command a Designated Player contract. The Goats have a rock-bottom team payroll at the moment, with the team collectively making less than $2.5 million (and that figure dips to $2.2 million if we remove Miller Bolanos, Eric Avila and Giovani Casillas). This means they have plenty of room to sign players, but will they really splash the cash on a player who would certainly be an upgrade at a problem position? That's a major question.
So, at this point, I think the rumor is "possible" but I wouldn't necessarily order a jersey with "Bocanegra" on the back just yet. If Chivas are going to get him, everything will need to fall into place. We'll keep tabs on it and let you know any developments.
What do you think? Leave a comment below!