VANCOUVER, BC – Vancouver Whitecaps FC announced on Wednesday that the club has signed midfielder Christian Bolaños to a multi-year contract following a transfer from Costa Rica’s Primera División side Deportivo Saprissa using Targeted Allocation Money – pending receipt of his international transfer certificate, Canadian work permit and visa. Per Major League Soccer and club policy, terms of the deal were not disclosed.
Christian Bolaños – Whitecaps FC midfielder
· 60 appearances for Costa Rica, including the 2006 and 2014 FIFA World Cup
· International teammate and Saprissa alumni with ‘Caps defenders Jordan Smith and Kendall Waston
· Helped Saprissa finish third in the 2005 FIFA Club World Cup and was named the Bronze Ball recipient
· Over 400 matches and 55 goals in Costa Rica, Denmark, Norway, and Qatar’s top-flight leagues
· Won 14 trophies in Costa Rica and Europe
“Christian is a proven winner,” said Whitecaps FC head coach Carl Robinson. “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.”
Bolaños, 31, joins Whitecaps FC after recently completing a successful second stint with his first professional club Saprissa. In 14 appearances in all competitions, the winger scored five goals and helped the Costa Rican club capture the Campeonato de Invierno.
“I’m very excited to join Whitecaps FC,” said Bolaños. “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.” A product of Saprissa’s youth system, Bolaños began his career during the 2001-02 season with Costa Rica’s most successful club. Over the next six seasons with the Monstruo Morado, Bolaños won three Costa Rican league titles (2003-04, 2005-06, 2006-07), the 2003 Copa Interclubes UNCAF, and the 2005 CONCACAF Champions Cup. In the 2005 FIFA Club World Cup, Bolaños was named the Bronze Ball recipient (third best player in the tournament) following Saprissa’s third place finish in the international competition.
The 5-foot-9 midfielder moved to Europe in July 2007, joining Denmark’s Superliga side Odense Boldklub for two seasons, followed by two seasons with Norway’s Tippeligaen club IK Start, and four seasons with Denmark’s F.C. Copenhagen.
During Bolaños’ time in Denmark’s capital, F.C. Copenhagen won the Danish Superliga in 2010-11 and 2011-12 and the Danish Cup in 2011-12. As a member of the Lions, Bolaños made 141 appearances, scored 18 goals, and added 24 assists, which includes 22 UEFA Champions League starts (three goals and three assists) and 10 UEFA Europa League appearances.
Prior to his second spell with Saprissa, Bolaños split the 2014-15 season with Al-Gharafa of the Qatar Stars League and Costa Rican side C.S. Cartaginés.
Internationally, the native of San José, Costa Rica has earned 60 caps for his native country, including appearances in the 2006 and 2014 FIFA World Cup. During the 2014 tournament, Bolaños appeared in all five matches, including four starts, as Costa Rica advanced to the quarterfinal before falling to the Netherlands in a shootout. Bolaños converted his attempt in the Ticos defeat. He also represented Costa Rica during three CONCACAF Gold Cups and the 2001 FIFA U-17 World Cup.
Bolaños will join his new teammates for preseason training camp in Tucson, Arizona during the first week of February.
Weight: 155 pounds
Date of Birth: May 17, 1984 in San José, Costa Rica
Citizenship: Costa Rica
Previous Club: Deportivo Saprissa (Costa Rica’s Primera División)
How Acquired: Acquired via transfer from Costa Rica’s Primera División side Deportivo Saprissa on January 20, 2016