The former U.S. captain won't participate in this summer's Gold Cup after initially being named to the 35-man provisional roster.When Jurgen Klinsmann's 23-man Gold Cup roster was announced Thursday, it appeared as though Carlos Bocanegra's omission might spell the end of his time with the U.S. national team.
The U.S. head coach is bringing a second-choice roster to the tournament, with almost all key players on summer break or back with their respective MLS sides. If Bocanegra couldn't crack this squad, the prevailing theory was that he would never play for the Yanks again.
According to Klinsmann, however, the former captain is in a transitional period in his club career, and his time with the Stars and Stripes isn't necessarily at an end.
"With Carlos, I had a long talk, he basically is in the middle of another move, he's in the middle of another change," Klinsmann said Thursday on a conference call. "He's going to leave Racing Santander and he is in the middle of making up his mind of where he wants to go, where he wants to continue his career.
"We simply agreed to leave him out of the roster in order for him to have all options open, to join a new team, right away from the start in preseason and not come in kind of late into this new opportunity," Klinsmann continued.
Bocanegra spent the 2012-13 season on loan at Spanish second division club Racing Santander, where he struggled through injures, eventually working his way back into the starting lineup. Unfortunately, his improved performances weren't enough to save his club, which was relegated into the Spanish third division.
The 34-year-old has one year left on his contract with Rangers, but with Klinsmann publicly stating his preference for Bocanegra to avoid playing in the Scottish second division next season, the veteran center back will be on the move again, with MLS mooted as a potential destination.
Bocanegra has not featured for the U.S. national team since a Nov. 2012 friendly against Russia, and has not been called up to the team since the USA's first Hexagonal match against Honduras in February.