Seattle Sounders Sign Swiss National Team Member Blaise Nkufo

Phil Andrews@philandrewsWMCNCorrespondent IMarch 4, 2010

At six feet , two inches tall and 185 pounds, Blaise Nkufo (pronounced Blehz KOOH-fo)   is a force to be reckoned with, both from  a physical and skill set stand point.  

In other words, Seattle Sounder supporters should get their kicks out of this Congolese born striker, who now claims Swiss Citizenship.

The Sounders announced today that they have signed the Swiss National Team forward on a free transfer, but before booking passage to the Pacific Northwest, Nkufo must fulfill commitments to his National Team and Dutch Club side, FC Twente.

The 34 year old Nkufo has scored over 200 goals for club and country and has capped 27 times for the Swiss, scoring seven goals. Five of those goals came during the qualification process for the 2010 World Cup and, as a result, Switzerland will join Honduras, Chile and reigning European champion Spain in Group H when World Cup play begins in June.

Nkufo, now in his seventh season with FC Twente, has led the club in scoring each of the past six seasons and last summer became the club's career scoring leader and, to date, has scored 129 goals in 260 appearances for the Dutch club.

"I am really motivated. It is a big challenge because as a player and as a man, I wish to settle and live in Seattle," said Nkufo. "For now, I remain totally committed, totally focused on Twente, and doing whatever I can to help them win the league and the cup."

FC Twente has lost only once in 25 matches and currently trails PSV Eindhoven by one point in the Eredivisie, Holland's first division. Twente has also advanced to the UEFA (Union of European Football Associations) round of 32.

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"When I arrive in Seattle, I'm not just coming to play, I'm coming to succeed," added Nkufo. "That is my goal. I feel I can contribute because of my experience, my spirit, my commitment and my goals. Of course, that's the key, goals and assists. I've contributed that before and wish to do the same for the Sounders."

"When I came last winter to visit," he said, "I was impressed with the organization, the stadium and the training facilities. The Sounders showed that they want me and I have a very good feeling about our future."

"We're obviously very excited because we've had our eyes on Blaise for quite a while now," said Adrian Hanauer, Sounders FC general manager. "He's a big, strong presence in the middle, and he gives us a slightly different look. He is also a player of tremendous character, and will contribute his knowledge and leadership to our team."

Seattle supporters can expect to see Nkufo in a Sounders kit sometime after World Cup Play.

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