Bocanegra: We Are On The Right Path To Becoming A Football Power

Carlos Bocanegra believes that the United States are out to prove that they are an up and coming power in world football at the World Cup this summer.

With their World Cup opener against England attracting a great deal of attention back home, the Rennes left-back hopes that the nation’s finest athletes will start to pick soccer as their primary sport rather than basketball or baseball.

The former Fulham defender thinks that a win over England would be a huge step for the USA to become a consistent presence in the World Cup knock-out stages and pave the way to becoming a top football nation.

“Last time we didn’t get beyond the group stage, which was a big disappointment,” Bocanegra told The Mirror.

“We’ve reached the level with US soccer that now is the time we need to be getting beyond the group stages on a consistent basis.

“Man, we’re trying to dominate like the US does in other sports. We’re on the right path and getting better and better.

“You guys have had a domestic league for over 100 years. We’ve had one for 14 years. I don’t know if it’s fair to live up to the world’s expectations. We have our own expectations in the group.

“It would be nice if the Kobe Bryant’s and Dwyane Wade’s of this world started choosing soccer. I don’t know if that’s ever going to happen. It’s a different dynamic in the US to everywhere else in the world. But we have to try and promote the game and do that by winning on a big stage.”

With 18 million people expected to tune into their Group C opener on Saturday Bocanegra acknowledges that soccer is becoming more and more significant in the USA.

“People in the US are interested. There will be a very good showing for the England game.

“US v England is an exciting thing for the fans in both countries to watch. It will be one of the highest publicised games ever- huge ratings. ESPN is showing it live.

“We have more fans watching soccer each year. The sport is getting bigger and bigger and when you open the tournament against a big team like England, a team with so much history, we’ll get a massive TV audience.”