Get to know Timbers striker Franck Boli

A new goalscoring threat has touched down in the Rose City.

Franck Boli 2023 - Media Day

The 29-year-old Ivory Coast international arrives from NB I side Ferencvaros TC, league-leaders in the Hungarian first division. Boli makes Portland his fifth club spanning an 11-year career. 

Born in Yamoussoukro, Ivory Coast, the 5'9" striker became a professional at just 19-years-old after signing for Stabæk Football of the Norwegian first division in 2012. Aside from a 2016 loan stint in the Chinese Super League, Boli honed his goalscoring instincts in Norway, scoring 58 goals in 161 matches between Stabæk and Aalesunds from 2012-2019.

Having established himself as one of the top-performers in Scandinavia, he drew attention from the Hungarian top flight in the summer of 2019. He completed a transfer to Ferencvaros of Budapest and continued to demonstrate his success there for the next three-and-a-half years. He played a successful part in three consecutive Hungarian championships from 2019-2022, and played in UEFA Champions League qualifying matches, scoring twice. Boli netted 42 goals and 11 assists in 126 appearances across all competitions.

On March 13, Boli inked a one-year contract with a club option for the 2024 season. As he prepares for his new journey in green and gold, we asked Boli about his decision to join the Timbers, and what he hopes to accomplish here.

What attracted you to come to Portland and Major League Soccer?

I think it's the right choice at this point in my career. I've been talking to coach [Savarese] and the general manager as well. They told me about Portland, about the city and everything so I think it's the right fit for me.

I'm still new here. I've just stayed at my hotel and don't go out so much. It's all new for m—it takes time.

When you made the decision to come to the Rose City, what did you already know about the Portland Timbers?

I had a teammate who's from America—he's from Seattle, Washington so not far. He told me a little bit about Portland and that it's a nice city. He also told me about the club and how they won MLS Cup [in 2015]. He told me it's a good football club and that i would enjoy it. That's why I'm here.

March 24, 2023: Franck Boli arrives at the Timbers training facility

For those that are unfamiliar with you and your career, could you tell us who Franck Boli is as a person and player?

I am just a normal guy, you know, I love to play football. I've been playing since I was a young kid and I come from a football family. My father and my uncles all played, so it's what I do.

As a player, I can be in different roles. I'm not the tallest striker but I can attack space in behind, I can come down to play and work with the feet, but overall what I like to do best is score goals.

Do you feel ready to make your MLS debut?

Personally, I'm ready in my head [mentally]. They [coaching staff] have to figure out if I'm ready on the pitch as well so we'll see. As soon as they give me the green light I'll be ready.

What would you say you bring to this club?

I mean, I just come here to bring my experience, and doing what I can. I talked to the coach and I'm here to bring whatever he [Savarese] wants me to bring to the table. Hopefully a lot of goals, that's what I do.