Mile High Sports

Rapids add Chinese Super League striker Yannick Boli

Mar 18, 2017; Commerce City, CO, USA; General view of the state of Colorado flag and the Colorado Rapids flag outside of Dick's Sporting Goods Park before the match against the Minnesota United FC. Mandatory Credit: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

The Colorado Rapids announced Thursday the signing of striker Yannick Boli from Dàlián Yīfāng of the Chinese Super League to a one-year deal using Targeted Allocation Money. Boli will be added to the Rapids’ roster upon receipt of his ITC (International Transfer Certificate) and P-1 visa.

“Yannick is a very strong addition to our attack,” said Rapids Executive Vice President & General Manager, Pádraig Smith. “He’s a natural goal-scorer, and his pace and boldness inside the box will help create space for others. We look forward to welcoming him to Colorado.”

Boli becomes the 14th addition to the Rapids roster since the conclusion of the 2017 season, joining other high-profile newcomers Danny Wilson, Tommy Smith, Jack Price, Johan Blomberg and United States Men’s National Team wingback Edgar Castillo. A traditional number nine, Boli will feature alongside an attacking front that includes fellow forwards Joe Mason, Dominique Badji, Stefan Aigner, Niki Jackson and Jack McBean.

Over the course of his professional career, Boli has scored 74 goals in 11,948 minutes of play, averaging a goal in every 1.79 games. Last season, Boli found the back of the net on 16 occasions for Chinese Super League side Dàlián Yīfāng, averaging a goal every 1.2 games.

Prior to signing with Dàlián, Boli spent three seasons in the Russian Premier League with FC Anzhi Makhachkala, scoring 26 goals in 62 appearances. Boli has also spent time in Ukraine and Bulgaria with FC Zorya Luhansk and PSFC Chernomorets Burgas, respectively.

Of dual nationality, Boli was born in the Paris suburb Saint-Maur-des-Fossés and got his start with hometown club Paris Saint-Germain of the French top flight. Joining the club at just 11 years old, Boli made his first team debut with the club during the 2008 season, scoring his first goal against Amiens SC on May 6, 2008. After a loan spell with fellow Ligue 1 side Le Havre AC, Boli also featured 23 times for Nîmes.

Eligible to play at the international level for both France and Ivory Coast, Boli committed his international future to the West African nation in 2008, and was subsequently called in to the team’s 2008 Olympic Team. He made his senior national team debut versus Gabon on September 3, 2017 in a 3-0 FIFA World Cup qualification victory.

Boli is the nephew of both former Marseille and French international defender Basile Boli, and former RC Lens striker Roger Boli.

“This is an exciting next step in my career,” said Boli. “The Rapids are a club with an ambitious vision for the future, and I look forward to bringing that vision to life. I can’t wait to get started.”