On Tuesday morning, the National Soccer Hall of Fame announced that former Chicago Fire defender and U.S. Men’s National Team captain Carlos Bocanegra will be inducted as the lone member of the class of 2020.
Bocanegra's 15-year professional career began as MLS Rookie of the Year with the Chicago Fire in 2000. He'd go on to make 122 appearances for the Club across all competitions from 2000-03, along the way winning MLS Defender of the Year in 2002 and 2003, being named to the MLS All-Star Team twice, and hoisting the 2000 and 2003 U.S. Open Cup Titles. After four successful seasons in Chicago, he moved to Europe for stints in England’s Premier League, France’s Ligue 1 and Scotland’s Premier League before two final seasons (2013-2014) in MLS.
Bocanegra, who will be the 305th person to be enshrined into the Hall of Fame, wore the captain’s armband in 64 of his 110 appearances with the USMNT from 2001 to 2012. His 14 international goals are the most by a U.S defender.
Bocanegra will be inducted along with the Hall of Fame’s 2021 class at a combined ceremony next year at Toyota Stadium in Frisco, Texas. This year’s ceremony, which was scheduled for Saturday, September 19, was postponed due to concerns over the COVID-19 pandemic.
The National Soccer Hall of Fame voting committee determined the 2020 class from a list of 42 finalists on the players ballot, 12 on the veterans ballot and 10 finalists in the builder ballot. Bocanegra was named on 68.5 percent of ballots; the threshold for election is 66.7 percent.