On August 4, D.C. United made their first addition of the summer transfer window by acquiring 19-year-old Bolivian international Bruno Miranda. Miranda joins United from Club Universidad de Chile, where he broke into the first team and made several appearances for one of Chile's most successful franchises this spring. Here's what you need to know about one of the newest members of the Black-and-Red.
Familiarity with the District
Miranda hails from Santa Cruz de la Sierra, Bolivia—approximately 4,000 miles from the District. The 19-year-old is no stranger to the area, though. When Miranda arrived in D.C. to complete his signing, he noted that it was his fourth time in D.C. “My girlfriend lives in Woodbridge,” Miranda said. “She moved here three years ago, and this is where I come for vacation. We are very excited to be reunited.”
Bolivian connections in D.C.
While Miranda is joining his girlfriend, he is also joining a strong Bolivian community in the metropolitan D.C. area, which boasts the highest concentration of Bolivians in the United States and D.C. United have a storied history of impactful Bolivian players.
Coincidentally, Miranda began his youth career at famed Bolivian youth academy Tahuichi—the same academy that produced former United Bolivian players Jaime Moreno, Marco Etcheverry and Juan Manuel Peña, who also happens to be Miranda's agent.
“They are some of my idols...in Bolivia, they are big idols still,” Miranda said of United's Bolivian legends. “I never watched them play live, but I was in the same academy as them. So, there were always pictures around of them and everybody talked about them.”
Choosing D.C. United
This spring, Miranda became a first team contributor for Club Universidad de Chile, but remained hungry for new opportunities. “I’m a young guy and there’s a lot of good players at the club, so I needed to get out and play somewhere else,” Miranda said of leaving Universidad.
When considering potential destinations, Miranda's agent and former United player Juan Manuel Peña suggested D.C. “[He] spoke very well about the club and was one of the reasons I decided to come,” Miranda recalled. “There were other opportunities, but this was the most real offer. Also, this league is somewhere I can learn and get better on the soccer side. That’s why I chose to come here. I’m working really hard now to be ready to make an impact.”
Future with the Bolivian national team
Despite being in the early stages of his career, the 19-year-old has also already earned three caps with the Bolivian national team. Miranda made his international debut on May 29, 2016, coming off the bench in the second half against the U.S. when he was only 18 years old. Miranda most recently appeared with the national team on June 3 in an international friendly against Nicaragua, when the forward started and played 90 minutes in the 1-0 victory.
Now, Miranda hopes his move to D.C. United and Major League Soccer will help him develop into a leader for the Bolivian national team moving forward.
“My generation hasn’t gotten results or done well on the youth level, but I still have a good feeling that we can bring that to the first team and attain our goals,” Mirada said of the Bolivian national team's future.