Bocanegra, Saint Etienne Garner 2-1 Win

SALT LAKE CITY - JUNE 4:  Defender Carlos Bocanegra #4 of the U.S. Men's National Team poses for a portrait prior to the CONCACAF World Cup qualifying match against Costa Rica at Rice-Eccles Stadium on JUNE 4, 2005 in Salt Lake City, Utah. The USA won 3-0.  (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)

This afternoon Carlos Bocanegra showed once more why he’s one of Bob Bradley’s favorites. In a 2-1 victory over Toulouse, the Saint Etienne left back was instrumental in shackling Toulouse’s attack. The lone goal conceded by Etienne occurred on their right flank, far from Bocanegra’s defensive responsibilities. Toulouse substitute Daniel Braathen, who came on as a right winger, even switched wings to avoid the tenacious Captain America.

Bocanegra did commit three fouls (one of them resulted in a yellow card), but for the most part he calmly snuffed out each Toulouse effort along his flank. He intercepted three passes, stayed with his man on set pieces, and dug his team out of pressure with measured passes to teammates. He only advanced to his opponent’s box on two occasions – providing little threat in either instance – but attacking prowess has never been part of his bag of tricks.

Bob Bradley will always keep an eye out for attack-minded left backs, but as long as Bocanegra is around, the USA will always have a very capable option.

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