New Fulham defender Carlos Bocanegra feels the time was right to secure a move to Europe.
Bocanegra turned his back on MLS in favour of a move to England and he made a bright start to his career with a steady debut against Newcastle.
The defender is relishing the chance to pit his wits against the top Premiership strikers, claiming it will stand him in good stead for when he turns out for Bruce Arena’s US side.
“I think I was spotted by Fulham playing with the US team over the summer at the Gold Cup,” Bocanegra said about the move. “And then they just kept their eye on me until I became a free transfer as of January 1st.
“It wasn’t so much that I felt I was better than the MLS – I just wanted a change and wanted to try and play in Europe.”
Bocanegra claims he was given some sound advice from some experienced US players.
He added: “Some of the older guys in the US team told me that players don’t usually stay in the same place their whole career and said that seeing as my contract with the MLS was up it was something I should consider.
“I spoke to Claudio Reyna, Kasey Keller, Eddie Lewis and some other players and they gave me some good advice about expanding my playing career and coming over here.”
Bocanegra had little hesitation in joining The Whites, saying London was the best place to start his European adventure.
“Obviously, London is a great city in which to live and the culture here is pretty similar to the US which makes a move easier,” he added.
“When I first came over I really liked Chris (Coleman, Fulham’s manager) and how much the players respected him, and I liked how the locker room seemed really relaxed but that once they got out on the field it really was business.
“It’ll be neat to play against the top players- the likes of (Thierry) Henry and (Ruud) van Nistelrooy. And it’ll be great to be playing in front of big crowds and such avid fans.
“The speed of play will be the main difference. But the good thing about playing at international level is that those games can be quite frantic too so that’ll help me out.”