USMNT regular and 2010 World Cup team captain Carlos Bocanegra announced Tuesday that he is retiring at the end of this season becoming the latest United States international to announce formal retirement. “The timing is right for me,” he told. The 35-year-old made his international debut in 2001 under Bruce Arena and amassed as many as 110 caps for the United States anchoring USMNT’s backline for two consecutive World Cups. A Southern California native, Bocanegra is an UCLA product. He entered into MLS circles in 2000, earning the MLS Defender of the Year award both in 2002 and 2003. After this first MLS gig, Bocanegra went overseas playing English Premier League side Fulham in 2004. He also played with Rennes in France and Rangers in SPL before moving on to the Spain to play with Racing Santander before returning in USA and joining Chivas USA. CUSA’s team captain this season under coach Wilmer Cabrera, Bocanegra registered 30 appearances in a season and a half with the team, before concussion symptoms sidelined him. One of the best defenders United States program has ever produced, Bocanegra is a fine leader and a strong centre-back. He has been also a factor on the other half of the field as he netted 14 goals in 110 games, the most made by an American defender, due to his set pieces efficiency. He was one of the best players of his generation, as Chivas President Nelson Rodriguez pointed out. The former Alta Loma High standout player was also one of the best centre-back in USMNT history. The question is if Bocanegra is the greatest. While he still deserves a spot in the list of the best American defenders, I don’t know if you can rate him a higher level than Marcelo Balboa. A big defender, 13 goals scored in a less competitive USMNT side, Balboa was a real force for USA and he collected 127 appearances, fourth all-time leader. Although he never proved himself in Europe, maybe is the National Soccer Hall of Famer Balboa to deserve the title of best defender USA have ever had.