Tuesday, January 19, 2010
Carlos Bocanegra and Rennes went on the road and played to a lackluster goalless draw versus Saint Etienne on Tuesday evening at Stade Geoffroy-Guichard.
Bocanegra got the starting nod from head coach Frédéric Antonetti, a rarity of late for the US national team captain who has spent the last several months mostly on the bench.
The California native was slotted at the left back position and went the distance for Les Rouges Et Noirs.
Rumors have recently surfaced that Bocanegra would be sold to their Tuesday opponent, leading many fans to think that this rare appearance for the former Fulham man in Antonetti's starting 11 was a job audition rather than a tactical move.
A dense fog hovered above the field at the opening whistle and lingered for the bulk of the match making it difficult for either squad to mount much of an attack.
Bocanegra did see an opportunity in the 18th minute but his header off a corner kick failed to hit the target.
St. Etienne did not fare any better much to the chagrin of the home fans whom did not see their team direct a shot on goal until the 76th minute.
With Rennes' primary offensive player, Ghanian Asamoah Gyan, at the African Cup of Nations, Antonetti elected to put playmaking aside in hopes of that a goal could come from a corner kick or set piece which never came to pass.
The draw keeps Rennes locked in at ninth place in the Ligue 1 standings with 30 points as Bocanegra and company next face fifth division Saumur in the Coupe de France Round of 32 this weekend.