CARSON, Calif. — The International Transfer Certificate for Carlos Bocanegra had not arrived by the time Chivas USA wrapped up their training session Monday, but the veteran defender worked with the usual starting lineup as they prepared for Wednesday night’s home game against Toronto FC (10:30 pm ET, watch on MLS Live).
It’s been a long two weeks since Chivas USA announced the acquisition, leaving coach José Luis “Guero” Real hopeful Bocanegra’s paperwork will arrive from Spanish second-division club Racing Santander in time for him to suit up for the Rojiblancos for the first time this week.
Bocanegra is still trying to regain top fitness level and wasn’t sure he’d be able to play a full, 90-minute match yet, but he’s antsy to return to the pitch soon.
“I expect to come in and do my job,” Bocanegra told MLSsoccer.com. “I want to help this team move forward, put a better product on the field and win some games. That’s the most important thing.”
Despite being a new member, Bocanegra was a vocal leader throughout Monday’s two-hour practice, directing teammates as an extension of goalkeeper Dan Kennedy.
“We all know he’s a player of very recognizable quality,” Real told MLSsoccer.com. “Logically, he will be a great leader on this team because of his ability.”
The summer transfer window opened July 9 and Bocanegra joined the Goats in Philadelphia during their 10-day, three-city road trip. The club announced his signing on July 1.
“I need to get some games under my belt so I can catch up to the group,” Bocanegra said.