San Antonio FC announced today that starting Goalkeeper Cristian Bonilla is retiring from professional soccer at the age of 28. Bonilla in appeared in all three matches to date for the 2022 season and made three starts.
“First and foremost, I’d like to express my appreciation and gratitude to all San Antonio FC fans, for the way you welcomed me the past few months,” Bonilla said. “I’ve made the decision to retire from professional soccer due to personal reasons. I’m very grateful to everyone here and I leave very happy to have been a part of such a beautiful city and wonderful club. I wish everyone at SAFC the very best, and will continue to support the team that I believe can earn a USL Championship title this season.” said Cristian Bonilla in a press release from San Antonio FC.
At one time, Bonilla was a goalkeeper on the Colombian National Team’s radar. Making 30 total appearances for the U17, U20 and the 2016 Colombian Olympic team.
Bonilla is from Manizales, Colombia and began his career in 2009 with Boyaca Chico and played in the “Categoria Primera A” also known as the “Liga BetPlay Dimayor” which the Colombian First Division of Soccer for most of his career.
Bonilla joined Atletico Nacional in 2012 and spent six seasons with one of Colombia’s more storied clubs. He also spent three season on loan with La Equidad, a club based in Bogota. In 2018, Bonilla made the move to Saudi Arabia to play for Al-Fayha making 15 appearances in two seasons.
Bonilla returned to Colombia to play three more seasons, spending time once again La Equidad and Millonairos. He appeared for only one match for Millonairos in 2020, a 1-1 draw with Santa Fe. Bonilla would return to La Equidad for one more season in 2021.
Bonilla would sign with San Antonio FC on January 27th, 2022. Bonilla would win the starting role for SAFC and appeared in all three matches to date with three starts. Bonilla recorded nine saves and one clean sheet and had a GAA of 0.66 and helped SAFC off to the best start in club history going 3-0-0 with nine points.
San Antonio FC have two active goalkeepers on the roster, Jordan Far and Matt Cardone. Jude Bosshardt is a 17 year old goalkeeper on an academy contract.
Was he homesick? Injured? Not happy with SAFC?
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The press release from SAFC media cited “personal reasons” no further details were provided to the public.