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Bienvenue! Switchbacks Welcome Kanakimana

By USLChampionship.com Staff, 02/17/21, 6:00PM EST

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Burundi international adds to attacking options for Colorado Springs


New Colorado Springs Switchbacks FC signing Bienvenue Kanakimana scored seven goals for Atlanta United 2 during the 2019 USL Championship season. | Photo courtesy Carmen Mandato / Atlanta United 2

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. – Colorado Springs Switchbacks FC announced on Wednesday the club had acquired Bienvenue Kanakimana on a permanent transfer from MFK Vyskov in the Czech Republic, pending league and federation approval. Terms of the transfer were not disclosed.

“Bienvenue is a player that caused a lot of trouble for opposing teams during his time in the Eastern Conference with Atlanta United 2 a few years ago,” said Switchbacks Head Coach Brenden Burke. “He is coming off of some big and unique experiences in China and at 21, we believe he is poised to add an element to our team that it currently lacks on the attacking side of the ball.

“The fact that he is so well regarded by teammates and colleagues off the field is a major bonus and we are looking forward to seeing him do his thing at Weidner Field this season.”

Prior to a brief stint playing in China in 2020, Kanakimana played on loan for the USL Championship’s Atlanta United 2 during the 2019 campaign. Kanakimana notched seven goals and was voted the USL Championship Player of the Week for Week 22 of the 2019 season after scoring a hat trick against Loudoun United on Friday, August 2. His performances at the club level saw him earn his first chance to represent the Burundi National Team, for which he made appearances in both CAF Africa Cup of Nations Qualifying and FIFA World Cup Qualifying two years ago.

“It’s an honor for me to receive this opportunity at Colorado Springs, an incredible club with big ambition and a new manager I have so much respect for," said Kanakimana. "I cannot wait to win the trust of Coach Brendan and my new teammates. Thank you again to this organization.”

Prior to joining Atlanta, Kanakimana played for Aigle Noir of the Burundi Premier League in 2018. He finished as the league’s top scorer with 23 goals across all competitions while leading the club to the Burundi Premier League title.

Prior to his senior international call-up, Kanakimana had also featured with Burundi’s U-17, U-20 and U-23 Youth National Teams. He has scored five goals across all matches for the U-20 and U-23 teams.

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