• Diego Bocanegra

Living the Soccer Lifestyle

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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