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Chivas USA cautious with Carlos Bocanegra's concussion: "He needs to be 100 percent"

Carlos Bocanegra gives a thumbs-up

Photo Credit: 
USA Today Sports

CARSON, Calif. – Chivas USA captain Carlos Bocanegra missed his fourth consecutive match last weekend as he continued to recover from a concussion, and head coach Wilmer Cabrera told reporters he would not press the veteran defender regarding his status.

The Rojiblancos have allowed six goals in the four matches since Bocanegra sustained a concussion at D.C. United on July 20, using combinations of Andrew Jean-Baptiste, Tony Lochhead and Eriq Zavaleta at center back with Bobby Burling also on the mend from a right medial menisectomy.

Zavaleta (right hamstring irritation) was held out of last week’s scoreless draw against the Vancouver Whitecaps.

Despite missing the backline’s leader during a critical part of the season, Cabrera reiterated that he is in no rush to get Bocanegra back on the field.

“With the concussion, it’s something that, for us as coaches, we don’t want to put pressure on the players,” Cabrera said. “I don’t want to talk to Carlos and ask him how he feels [because] as soon as I say that, it’s going to feel that he needs to move forward. With this concussion subject, we have to be careful. We would like to give him the time and possibility to relax to be sure he’s back to 100 percent.”

Bocanegra missed only three games last season after joining the club in early July. Prior to his recent absence from the lineup, the former US national team captain had sat out only one other game this season, a 3-0 home loss to the Philadelphia Union in late May.

“When he’s 100 percent, he’s the first one to want to be on the field and, in that aspect, we feel comfortable,” Cabrera said. “He wants to be on the field, but needs to be 100 percent.”

Chivas USA recorded their fourth shutout of the year to snap their four-game losing streak Saturday night, as defenders Jean-Baptiste, Lochhead, Akira Kaji and Donny Toia turned in a solid showing in front of goalkeeper Dan Kennedy.

“It was nice to just get some type of result,” Kennedy told reporters. “Obviously we had a tough four-game stretch, so now it’s about continuing to get the guys that are hurt healthy. That was a good performance by the backline [Saturday], so we can build on this.”