Nexos Latinos knows you have many questions for the U.S. National fútbol team captain Carlos Bocanegra. Here we have the answers to the questions you requested most.

You are of Mexican descent. How do you embrace this heritage?
It’s great growing up and being able to experience different cultures in one household. America is made up of so many different kinds of people so I feel like I got the best of both worlds and it opened up my views on the world.

You enjoy eating Mexican food. Can you cook it? What is your favorite dish?
Yeah, my grandma’s beans, rice and tamales are pretty special

When you are home with family do you speak in Spanish, English or both?
We speak English at my house but at my grandma’s it’s only Spanish.

How important was education to you and your family growing up in California?
Very important, my parents stayed on me all the time about my grades and doing well in school. I always had to finish my schoolwork before I could do my sports. We have great teachers and schools in California and it’s so important for our country to be educated. It’s sad that the governor is trying to cut the budget for the schools in California.

At what age and how did you get involved in fútbol?
I started at age 5. My parents put my older brother into soccer and he liked it, and did well, so they put me into AYSO [American Youth Soccer Association] as well.

Your friends call you “Los.” Who gave you this nickname and what does it mean?
Not much, just short for Carlos…lol.

Do you consider yourself a role model for young Latinos in the U.S.?
I think every athlete has a certain responsibility being in the public eye. If young Latinos in the U.S. want to look at me and say, “hey I grew up in the same situations, I can succeed, I can follow my dreams,” then I think giving someone that inspiration is great.

Although you are primarily a center back, you have also seen time as a left back with Fulham and the USA. In which position do you feel more comfortable?
I’m comfortable with both and I’m lucky to be able to play both so I have more options to get on the field.

You score your goals mostly with your head. How did you develop this skill?
I played all positions growing up and who doesn’t like to score? I’m an aggressive player and it’s something I just enjoy doing, attacking the ball with my head on free kicks.

What does it mean to you to be the Capitan of the USA team?
It’s a huge honor to be the captain of the USA team. It’s humbling and something I cherish very much. I have so much pride in the USA and to be able to represent my country is a fantastic feeling.

What are you doing mentally to prepare for the FIFA World Cup™?
Mentally, not too much different, just making sure I’m taking care of myself properly.

In South Africa your first match is against England. From a technical standpoint how do you think the USA will handle this challenge?
Yeah, that will be a fun match. Our coaching staff will have us prepared nicely and have a good game plan to go out and attack them and be solid defensively.

As you have gone face to face with opponents from around the world who has been your most admired/challenging player on the field?
Kaka and C. Ronaldo have been two of my most difficult opponents I have faced on the field.

Off the field, what do you do for fun and relaxation?
I just enjoy my down time. I like to hang out on the couch or chill around the pool. Something that involves doing a whole lot of nothing. I try to be as inactive as possible.

Do you have cable services? If so, how have they improved or enhanced your life?
The Internet has changed everyone’s life. I can’t believe I functioned without it before. High speed only, there is no use having an Internet connection unless it’s high speed.