Carlos Bocanegra isn’t going anywhere.
The Atlanta United vice president and technical director agreed to a four-year contract extension with the club in his current front office position, keeping him with the team through 2026. Bocanegra’s contract was set to expire in 2022.
The executive revealed Tuesday in a press conference that his position and duties within the club will remain the same, as the team looks to upgrade the roster for 2022. One focus for Bocanegra this offseason will be adding experience to the squad, though he declined to comment on specific signings or targets.
Although rumors circulated about his future with the team, Bocanegra was clear about one thing: he never wanted to leave Atlanta. Now, officially signed for four more years, he is looking to take the team back to the top of MLS.
“It was somewhere where I thought it would be a great fit, and that’s never changed,” Bocanegra said.
”You go through ups and downs in sports ... but we never lost belief here. I never wanted to go anywhere else, really enjoy it here, and we're trying to build something special.”
Having been with the club since its inception, one of Bocanegra’s main goals beyond the on-field product is to help it grow into a household name around the world.
Atlanta United led the American league in attendance in 2021 and ranked ninth in the world with an average crowd of 43,964 fans per match, while Josef Martinez had the top selling jersey in MLS. Sportico values the club to be worth $845 million, the second-most of any team in MLS.
While impressive for a young club, Bocanegra wants to see those numbers continue to grow over the years. The team won the 2018 MLS Cup, and are looking to become a force in American soccer and turn heads around the world.
“We’re trying to be a global brand,” Bocanegra said.
“We’re trying to be a big club and establish ourselves after these five years now, in these next 5-10 years as being the dominant team on the continent. We’re going to come up short sometimes but, you know, we’re swinging for the fences and we’re trying our darndest to get there.”
Atlanta will travel to New York Sunday to face NYCFC in the first round of the MLS Cup Playoffs.