• Diego Bocanegra

What do you get the man that has it all; someone that has traveled the world, performed on the biggest stages in sports and has a beautiful family?

How about a trip down memory lane!

For longer than I can remember, you were my right hand man, my teammate, the little trouble maker that looked up to me and just wanted to do everything that I did. We played soccer, basketball, baseball, football, tag, hide and seek, boxed/wrestled, swam and played every Nintendo game that we could get our hands on. Being the big brother, I had to take it easy on you at times or you might smack me across the head with a whiffle bat out of frustration. Thankfully for both of us, I didn't have to take it easy on you for too long.

From a young age, it was obvious that you were an exceptional athletic talent. By the time you were 10 years old, you and a few of the other little brothers were able to keep up with me and my friends. Soon enough, you weren't just coming to watch me at my tournaments, you were playing in them yourself. Before we blinked, I had to start calling you my "younger" brother because you weren't my "little" brother anymore. Now we could train together, start soccer camps together, share our careers together and occasionally get in trouble off the field together.

As your career ascended, you made it a point to share all of your experiences with your family and friends. We all got to travel the world and live the emotional roller coaster that comes along with this beautiful game, as if we were on the field with you. It would have been easy for you to let the success on the field get to your head. I'm happy to say that you never forgot where you came from (#909/The Ranch) and have only changed for the better. We survived the bad hair-dos, the earrings, the epic facial hair, shaving dad's beard and now we get to embrace our own distinguishing markers known as grey hair.

Now that we are both fathers and husbands, I look forward to watching our children grow up with their siblings and cousins. Even though we live across the country, on the rare occasions when the kids get together, there is an instant bond. They have a sixth sense and that only comes from being family.

Happy 40th Birthday and welcome to the club!


Diego, Kellie, Bella and Luca

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  • Diego Bocanegra

I have spent my entire life loving sports, but one sport has ignited a passion in me that has shaped my life. Soccer isn’t just a sport or a game, it’s a lifestyle. With this blog, I’m going to share my experiences, thoughts, passion for the game and life lessons with all of you. I hope to spark conversation, promote growth, and add fuel to the fire of all of my fellow colleagues that have dedicated themselves to this way of life. Soccer has given so much to me, I'm excited to give back.

Who am I? I am a father, husband, coach, mentor, and a fan of the beautiful game. I started playing AYSO when I was five years old, then proceeded on the typical American path moving onto club, high school, college and beyond. However, I really fell in love with the game playing with my friends and siblings. I played soccer every recess in elementary school, met my friends/teammates in the park to play pick up, played in the streets, played indoor, and basically found any chance I could to kick the ball around.

Ever since I hung up my boots competitively, I have been coaching, speaking, teaching, and mentoring kids and young adults. I have coached college at the NCAA Division I, II and III levels on both men’s and women’s side. Over the last 20 years, my stops as a player and a coach include my current jobs (University of Houston/U.S. Soccer) as well as the Houston Dash (NWSL), University of Notre Dame, UCLA, Cal State Fullerton, UC Riverside, Fresno State, Grand Canyon University, Cal State San Bernardino, and Pomona-Pitzer Colleges. In addition to my collegiate coaching, I have worked in youth soccer for Region IV ODP, Cal-South and Nevada ODP, spent several years as a coach/director for various clubs in California and Texas, as well as owning and woking various camps across the country.

Soccer has afforded me the opportunity to travel around the world. As a player/coach/fan, I’ve been to 40 U.S. states, Mexico, Canada, England, Germany, France, Spain, Iceland, Dominican Republic, and South Africa. I’ve attended four World Cups (including the Opening Ceremony in South Africa 2010 and the Finals in Los Angeles 1994), European Championships, Gold Cups, countless Premier League, MLS and NWSL games including multiple MLS Cup finals.

I have to admit, the amazing career of my younger brother (Carlos Bocanegra) and some teammates has given me backstage access and opportunities not afforded to others. I also feel very blessed with the career I've had and the perks that have come along with it. These are just more reasons I feel obligated to share these experiences with all of you.

Whether you are a player, parent, or coach; a die hard fan or just a casual observer, this blog will have something for you. My goal is to use soccer as a vehicle to educate others, bring families and communities together, mentor young leaders, start conversations, and provoke thought which will lead to positive change. I believe in our sport and feel it's my duty to help it continue to grow in the U.S. I hope you will take this journey with me.

For the Love of the Game,

Diego Bocanegra

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