Saturday, June 19, 2004 - Page updated at 12:00 AM

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Sounders add midfielder Bolanos

Special to The Seattle Times

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Jonathan Bolanos, a former member of the Costa Rican national team, is expected to officially join the Seattle Sounders next week, to bolster the team's midfield.

The signing of Bolanos, 26, will become official after he receives international clearance and league approval to join the Sounders. He should bring an attacking style to the club and will be counted on to set up forwards Roger Levesque, Kyle Smith and Welton.

"He's got an absolute cannon of a left foot, and on video we saw him score four, five or six fantastic goals from 30 yards out," Sounders general manager Adrian Hanauer said of Bolanos.

"This is a big signing for us. We're not hoping he fits in and plays a little bit. We were looking for an impact player, and we are hoping he's an impact player. Hopefully, he's along the lines of Welton for impact."

Welton has five goals through 10 matches in his first season with Seattle.

Bolanos most likely will be available to the Sounders next week when they begin a four-match road swing, which opens in Atlanta on Friday.

The 5-foot-11, 180-pounder began training with the team Tuesday. He finished his season with Costa Rican first-division team Club Deportivo Cartagines a month ago.

Jan Schiefloe, Bolanos' agent and Welton's former agent, spoke with the Sounders about Bolanos, and Hanauer was sold after watching recent video of Deportivo Cartagines.

"It was an opportunity, and I want to win a championship," Hanauer said. "I think he gives us another piece. I'm always looking at players and for players deeper into the season."

Bolanos played for the Costa Rican national team in the 2000 Olympics and with the Chicago Fire of Major League Soccer in 2003. He also has played at the highest levels in Costa Rica and Mexico.

"It will put pressure on guys to compete more," Hanauer said of Bolanos' arrival, "and it will make everybody better."


• Hanauer, who is leading the effort to land an MLS team in Seattle, said of the timetable to acquire the team: "It makes more financial sense for 2006, but from an emotional standpoint 2005 is much more attractive."

Copyright © 2004 The Seattle Times Company


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