The Vancouver Whitecaps' Costa Rican contingent just keeps growing.
Vancouver announced the signing of midfielder Christian Bolanos on Wednesday, securing the experienced Ticos international to a multi-year contract following a transfer from Deportivo Saprissa using Targeted Allocation Money, pending receipt of his international transfer certificate, Canadian work permit and visa. He joins countrymen and fellow Saprissa alums Jordan Smith and Kendall Waston in Vancouver.
Bolanos, 31, made his name as a youth product of Saprissa, then impressed in European stints at Denmark's Odense Boldklub, Norwegian Tippeligaen club IK Start and four seasons with Denmark's FC Copenhagen, where won two Danish Superliga titles and one Danish Cup while also appearing in UEFA Champions League and Europa League action. His globetrotting career has also taken him to Al-Gharafa in Qatar and CS Cartaginés in his homeland, and he won Bronze Ball (third-best player in the tournament) honors as Saprissa finished third in the 2005 FIFA Club World Cup.
"Christian is a proven winner," said Whitecaps FC head coach Carl Robinson in a club release. "He's a player we've coveted for a while and we're delighted to add his wealth of experience to our club. Christian is a natural winger and we expect him to complement our young attacking players very well."
The native of San Jose, Costa Rica has earned 60 caps for Los Ticos, including appearances in the 2006 and 2014 FIFA World Cups. During the 2014 tournament, Bolanos appeared in all five matches, including four starts, as Costa Rica advanced to the quarterfinals before falling to the Netherlands in a penalty-kick shootout. He's also played in three CONCACAF Gold Cups and the 2001 FIFA U-17 World Cup.
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"I'm very excited to join Whitecaps FC," said Bolanos. "This is a new challenge for me and a big responsibility. I look forward to meeting my new teammates and getting training started for the new season. My goal is to help this club win a championship."
Bolanos will join his new teammates for preseason training camp in Tucson, Arizona in the first week of February.