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Rumor: Miller Bolanos about to join Emelec?

Is one of the Goats' brightest hopes out the door?

Bye bye Bolaños?
Bye bye Bolaños?

Here's a rumor that remains very speculative, but one that has lingered, so it is worth mentioning: Chivas USA midfielder/forward Miller Bolanos has been rumored to be returning to Ecuador to join Emelec. The rumor has been circulating pretty wildly among Ecuadorian fans and Emelec fans more generally the past several days on twitter, but I had held off writing anything previously because I was waiting for a written report. A very, very short report finally came this afternoon, on (Spanish). Here's the translation of the story in its entirety:

Ecuadorian midfielder Miller Bolaños is the new player for Club Sport Emelec, and will be arriving in the country Thursday to take his physical and sign a contract. Bolaños returns to the country after his first international experience with Chivas USA in MLS, where he was not a regular because of injuries.

There are indications on this side of the border that this is at the very least plausible. First, Bolaños has not been mentioned on the injury report in recent weeks, but he has also not made the bench or lineup for Chivas' last three games (all competitions). His last appearance came June 1 against the Seattle Sounders, when he came off the bench to play the final 29 minutes in a loss. Since then, I've looked through all match records, as well as reserve games that have taken place since that game, and there's been no sign of him playing in any of those games. I even looked back at training photos, and saw no sign of him (if I missed something that shows his presence, let me know). That's probably the clearest indication of all (again, as long as he isn't secretly injured).

Chivas USA still lists him as a player on their website, but take note that they also list Ante Jazic, Eric Avila, and Giovani Casillas as players, and none of those three are currently with the team.

Additionally, a substantial number of MLS contracts are guaranteed on July 1. Indications are that Bolaños is on a loan deal from Ecuadorian club LDU Quito, although nobody on the MLS side has ever given any confirmation of that. It is possible he could have been recalled, but it is also possible Chivas could have canceled his loan, or they may have decided they didn't need him in their plans (in part because they just didn't want to pay him) and told him to find a new team.

In his time with Chivas USA, Bolaños has made 31 appearances across all competitions, notching three goals and four assists in 2012. He led the team in scoring this past preseason, but has hardly played while dealing with injuries and apparent disinterest from the coaches this year.

Of course, we'll continue to watch for news about this rumor. You know how it goes - there could be many twists and turns, or this could be straightforward.

What do you think? Leave a comment below!