Chivas USA to play second straight game without injured captain Carlos Bocanegra
CARSON, Calif. -- Chivas USA didn’t fare too well without Carlos Bocanegra last week, and it appears they will have to take the field minus their captain again this weekend.
Bocanegra, who suffered a concussion July 20 at D.C. United, is listed as out for Sunday’s home match against FC Dallas (10 pm ET; MLS Live), according to the club’s latest injury report. Head coach Wilmer Cabrera has also confirmed that chances of Bocanegra returning to the lineup this week are unlikely.
“We’re following protocol and you’ve got to be patient with it,” Cabrera told MLSsoccer.com. “The most important thing in this case with the concussion is we want to be patient and don’t want to force anyone or accelerate anything. If we can have him, fantastic, but if we can’t have him, someone has to step up and someone has to do the job.”
The Rojiblancos struggled immensely without Bocanegra last Friday, fielding a backline that included only one regular in a 3-0 loss to the Colorado Rapids. It was only the fifth league game he has missed since debuting for the club last summer.
“We miss a lot because he’s experienced and organizes the defense very well,” Cabrera said. “But this is soccer and we have a roster of 20-something players, and someone has to be ready to step up and do the job.”
Said defender Donald Toia: “It mostly comes down to communication on and off the ball. Having Boca back there as a veteran, he’s got a lot of experience there and when he’s not there, it’s tough to have someone take his place.”
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Bocanegra, 35, has made 18 starts this season after appearing in 12 games last year in his return to MLS.
Cabrera pointed out the club doesn’t intend to rush Bocanegra back into action, even with the team having allowed a total of seven goals over their previous three games and streaking Dallas storming into StubHub Center.
“We’re happy about the progress, but he needs to take the necessary time,” Cabrera said. “We don’t want to push him in any aspect. The most important thing in these cases is the person’s health That’s what we always think about.”