Say what you will about Carlos Bocanegra and whether he's the same player he was during the past two World Cups. But the dude is a professional.
It's been a tough week for the US national team captain, omitted from camp by Jurgen Klinsmann for a lack of minutes with Racing Santander and name-dropped repeatedly in the bombshell article by the Sporting News' Brian Straus as a flashpoint for what is reportedly a rift between squad and coach.
But on Tuesday, Bocanegra took the highest road possible on all the relevant social-networking venues. First, he penned a thoughtful, respectful few lines on his Facebook page:
"During the last 18 months, Jurgen has introduced a lot of new ideas to the team and has a vision of how he wants to grow the program," he wrote. "Every coach around the world has his own style and methods. He has always been up front with players about where they stand and where he sees them going.
"Not every player is going to be happy with all of the decisions and methods, but he will tell you to your face where you stand. From a coach, that is the best thing you could ask for. One of the greatest strengths of this team has always been our unity and spirit, and we all remain committed to the cause of qualifying for the World Cup."
Then, he added some thoughts on his Twitter account:
Unfortunately sometimes your club situation directly affects your national team career. I appreciate all the friendly messages (cont)— Carlos Bocanegra (@BocaBoca3) March 19, 2013
.. (cont) & would love to be in camp. Its an honor and a privilege to represent the USA. Lets all get behind the team for these 2 big games”— Carlos Bocanegra (@BocaBoca3) March 19, 2013
It's that kind of leadership that makes fans hope Boca is back in the picture soon.