Recently-retired U.S. national team defender Carlos Bocanegra is jumping right back into the game.
MLS Atlanta announced on Monday that Bocanegra been hired as the first technical director of the eventual MLS expansion franchise, which is due to begin play in 2017. Bocanegra, currently living in Los Angeles, will begin his new job in earnest upon completing his cross-country move.
“We’re very pleased to have Carlos join us as technical director,” MLS Atlanta president Darren Eales said in a statement. “He has an excellent reputation as a mature, confident leader and we have no doubt that he will thrive in the front office as much as he did on the pitch.”
As technical director, Bocanegra will oversee soccer operations for the organization, from the first team down to youth level.
Bocanegra announced his retirement late last year after a 15-year playing career that started in MLS with the Chicago Fire. He then moved to Europe, playing in the England with Fulham, France with St. Etienne, Scotland with Glasgow Rangers, and a stint in Spain with Racing Santander.
He returned to MLS with Chivas USA before hanging up his cleats in September. During this period, Bocanegra also amassed 110 caps with the U.S. national team, scoring 14 goals and serving as captain of the squad from 2007-2013.
Atlanta will join the league along with a second Los Angeles team in the 2017 season.