Chicago Fire Acquire Bakary Soumare from the Philadelphia Union
CHICAGO, Ill. (May 23, 2013) – The Chicago Fire Soccer Club announced Thursday that the Fire have acquired defender and Malian international Bakary Soumare from the Philadelphia Union in exchange for the Fire’s natural second round pick in the 2014 MLS SuperDraft and allocation money. Per league and team policy, terms of the deal were not disclosed. Soumare is expected to join the team immediately and will be available for selection by head coach Frank Klopas for the Fire’s match against Real Salt Lake at Rio Tinto Stadium on Saturday, May 25 at 8:00 p.m. CT (My50/La Ley 107.9 FM).
“We’re excited to have Bakary rejoin the Chicago Fire,” said President of Soccer Operations Javier Leon. “Bakary is a strong, dependable defender with experience in MLS and abroad. His addition to our roster will help us challenge both in MLS and for the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup. We know that Bakary considers Chicago to be his home and we’re happy to welcome him back to the Fire family.”
Chosen as the second overall selection in the 2007 MLS SuperDraft by the Fire after two years playing collegiately at the University of Virginia, Soumare made 19 appearances en route to a MLS Rookie of the Year nomination. In three seasons with the Men in Red, Soumare made 63 regular season appearances and in 2008 garnered a MLS Defender of the Year nomination and was a MLS Best XI selection. A 2009 MLS All-Star, Soumare transferred to French First Division side Boulogne on Aug. 26, 2009.
Soumare quickly became a regular for Boulogne, appearing in 65 games and occasionally serving as captain. In January of 2012, he was loaned to German club Karlsruher SC, where he made seven appearances.
The Philadelphia Union signed Soumare on June 26, 2012 after trading with the Vancouver Whitecaps FC to move up in the MLS Allocation order. Soumare has since started all four matches in which he has appeared for the Union.
Born in Bamako, Mali, Soumare made his international debut in 2009, starting in a 4-0 victory over Angola in an international friendly and has since represented Mali 13 times.
Name: Bakary Soumare
Pronunciation: ba-kah-ray sue-mar-ay
Weight: 205 lbs.
Date of Birth: November 9, 1985
Place of Birth: Bamako, Mali
Hometown: New York, N.Y.
Citizenship: Mali / USA
Acquired: Acquired from the Philadelphia Union on May 23, 2013