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Bocanegra urges US to think big at World Cup

Bocanegra urges US to think big at World Cup

United States captain Carlos Bocanegra says his team will play without fear at the World Cup because coach Bob Bradley has the players brimming with confidence.
Bocanegra says the team's performance at last year's Confederations Cup, where the Americans beat European champion Spain and African champion Egypt before narrowly losing to Brazil in the final, is proof that Bradley's attacking football is paying off.
Bocanegra is certain his team can reach the latter stages and cause an upset against any of the top teams in South Africa.
"When it hits the knockout stages it's a one-off game, and who knows what can happen? We always take the example (that) we beat Spain in the Confederations Cup (in) a one-off game," Bocanegra said. "Before that we beat Egypt 3-0, the champions of Africa. So on our day we feel like we can beat anybody."
The United States will face England, Slovenia and Algeria in Group C at the World Cup.
"It's a great chance for us, and we thought we got a fair draw," said Bocanegra, who plays for French club Rennes. "We feel like we have a good team and we have gained a lot of confidence and experience over the past four years."
Having played more than 100 English Premier League games for his previous club Fulham, Bocanegra is relishing facing England first.
"That is a cool way to kick off the tournament," Bocanegra said, adding with deliberate understatement that the match "will be quite highly viewed in the United States."
Although Bocanegra is fully settled in France, where he has one year left on his Rennes contract, he is aware that good performances at the World Cup could earn him a move back to England.
"I know that (it's a shop window), you think obviously that if you play really well you have a chance to move," he said. "If something arises there I would never say 'no.' But I am quite happy in France, actually. I enjoy the style here, I enjoy the life off the field. But obviously the Premiership is the cream of the crop, right?"
Bocanegra was part of the U.S. team that failed to get past the group stages four years ago, losing 3-0 against the Czech Republic, holding Italy to 1-1, and losing 2-1 to Ghana. Italy went on to win the World Cup.


Updated : 2021-10-17 23:42 GMT+08:00