Born: Alta Loma, California, United States, 25 May 1979
Position: Left back/centre back
International caps: 110
International goals: 14
Signed: 13 January 2004, Chicago Fire (£1.5m)
Fulham debut: Newcastle United 3-1 Fulham, 19 January 2004
Fulham appearances: 133
Fulham goals: 8
Sold: Released, 23 May 2008.
Carlos Bocanegra joined Fulham in January 2004 as a versatile and tough-tackling defender, who could play at centre back, on the left side of a back four or – even, as we saw during a serious injury crisis – at the heart of the midfielder. The likeable American wasn’t averse to popping up with a crucial goal or two. He headed the winner against Tottenham and famously secured a draw at Stamford Bridge with a late equaliser against Chelsea – finishing the 2006-07 season as Fulham’s second top scorer with five goals, behind compatriot Brian McBride.
Bocanegra made more than a hundred appearances for the Whites, standing in for the injured McBride as captain during the 2007-08. With the arrival of Brede Hangeland, Bocanegra’s first-team opportunities decreased and he was released following Fulham’s Great Escape under Roy Hodgson. The dependable defender, who won more than a century of caps for the States, went on to play for Rangers, Rennes, Saint-Etienne, Racing Santander and Chivas USA before calling time on his playing career and becoming technical director of MLS side Atlanta United.