Quote Sheet: Bakary Soumare's Return
Feelings on returning
“It feels great. I’m glad it’s finally done. It’s a new chapter. I’m really looking forward to it, I’m very excited and I’m going to have a lot of time to dwell on everything. I’ve got to get to work and try to turn this season around. Overall I’m very excited. It’s been a long two months in Philly, things didn’t work out the way I was hoping but I’m very excited to be back in the club where I started, I really enjoyed my time in Chicago from 2007-2009 and I’m looking forward to gaining that success again.”
On if there is extra pressure to try and turn the season around
“I’m there to help in any way I can. The goal is obviously to turn the season around but I think the Fire overall have been very unlucky and I was on the opposite side two weeks ago when we played them. It doesn’t take a lot sometimes, you just want the wheel to spin the right way. Sometimes it takes one good result and you can be back on track. As you know in this league, the teams that tend to be successful in the end aren’t necessarily the teams that are the best in the first six, seven games of the season. We still have time to turn it around. Do I put extra pressure on myself? No, but I’m there to help, I’m there to try to help this team accomplish and complete their goals. First of all to make it to the playoffs and I think we’ll be okay.”
How have you matured since leaving the Fire in 2009?
“I’ve grown as a player and I’m older obviously and I have some international experience whether it be with my national team or my experience in Europe. As you get older you become a little smarter. You read the game a little better and maybe you can’t play 60 or 70 games like I did in 2009 but you still bring something different to your game which is experience. You read the game a little better. I’m definitely a better player today than when I left, that’s for sure.
Whatever happened in the locker room, that’s in the past, it has nothing to do with my personality. As far as being on the field, I’m the same player. I bring tenacity, I bring a lot of bite. Maybe I’m a little smarter where you try not to pick up as many cards or give up as many fouls but that’s the bulk of my game. I’m a physical player and I’ll bring a different dynamic because I like to play hard and that’s my game and its always going to be that way. That’s never going to change.”
On playing against the Fire two weeks in a row then joining the team
“It is weird and only in this league will you see that. First of all playing twice in a row in a week you don’t see that – its unheard of. That’s weird in itself. Then to turn around and play alongside the guys you’ve been fighting against twice in a row, it’s weird. It’s not like I’m coming into an environment that’s unknown to me. I know a lot of guys in this locker room, I’m familiar with Frank and a lot of guys are ones that I’ve worked out with throughout the entire offseason. Obviously just like any new team, any new system, there’s an adjustment period but I think it’d be easier for me. Obviously there’s no easy move but I’ve already lived there, there is no transition period. It’s going to be easier than it was when I moved to Philly. I know a lot of the guys in the locker room, I’m familiar with them. If Frank picks me on Saturday, I’ll be ready to play. The good thing is I’ve had a strong three games together and I’ve actually started feeling better game after game. I’ve started getting my rhythm back and right now I’m close to top form. I’m very happy about that.”
How do you feel after having a few games to play recently?
“I feel really good. There was a little concern that I had come into preseason with maybe my knee bothering me but it’s been great. My knee has been reacting really well. Right now I feel good. Playing three games in a week is not an easy task but I was able to get through it. Now I’m getting my rhythm back and I’m pretty close to being 100 percent which is awesome, now it’s just a matter of stringing games together and working hard, keeping fit and keeping healthy. Other than that I’m very happy with how my body has responded.”
On speaking to Frank on where you might fit in this weekend or the next couple weeks…
“This deal took a long time to materialize. Frank and I will have the time, whether its tomorrow or some point to talk about that stuff. You don’t want to start talking about the stuff on the field when you haven’t resolved the trade. The trade was actually just resolved a couple hours ago so we haven’t gotten to the whole soccer part but we’ll figure that part out.“