Soumare and Hamlett fined for Locker Room "Incident"

FC Dallas v Chicago Fire

The Fire revealed tonight that defender Bakary Soumare and Head Coach Denis Hamlett were each fined an undisclosed amount for what the team is calling a "locker room incident" that took place at halftime of last Sunday's 3-2 loss to Houston.

According to [Soccer By Ives](http://www.soccerbyives.net/soccer_by_ives/2009/08/chicago-fire-to-fine-hamlett-and-soumare-for-lockerroom-fight.html), the "incident" -- which lead to Baky being subbed out -- was heated locker room argument and nothing more -- team sources are insisting that no punches were thrown.

"The locker room can get heated and we bring a lot of passion to our game days. Even when this happens, a line cannot be crossed," said Fire technical director, Frank Klopas. "The team has moved past this incident regarding Denis and Bakary and our focus remains on bringing the MLS Cup back to Chicago this season."

Soumare -- who is currently in New York for family reasons -- has yet to return to the Fire since he joined the Malian National Team on Monday.

So what does all of this mean for Baky and Hamlett?

Baky has long been the subject of transfer rumors (the latest is that he could be heading to French team Boulogne) and this incident seems to cement his departure from the Fire. If he isn't sold in the summer transfer window (which closes on September 1st) Baky will likely play out the rest of the year for the Fire, but at this point that might not even happen. Nothing is guaranteed here folks...

Hamlett's situation is more difficult to speculate on. I'm guessing that he and Frank Klopas had a sit-down at some point in the last week but -- if they did -- there really isn't anyway of knowing what came out of it.

Should Hamlett's job security be affected by the incident?

Well, the situation certainly raises some questions about the level of respect his players have for him but it's important to note that these things do happen in professional sports (take Kobe Bryant and Phil Jackson as an example...). If the Fire is able to get results then expect Hamlett's job to be more than safe for -- at the minimum -- the rest of the year. However, this "incident" is not a good thing for the club and if it (or something like it) happens again or if the team's performance suffers then all bets are off regarding Denis's future in Chicago...

Finally, apologies for getting this story up in an untimely manner. I had been away from the computer and was unaware of the goings on...

Comments

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  • very concerning, especially considering that the head coach was involved. i can get 2 players getting in a scuffle, but i'm very surprised and think it's especially unprofessional for the coach to be in an event like this. would love to know why this actually happened. if only hamlett were as open as ozzie...

  • @dj What's your problem with Baky? While I'm not a Hamlett basher (I'm not really qualified to have an opinion on that), I at least understand why some aren't big Hamlett fans. But Baky? I just don't understand how any Fire fan would want Baky gone. He's definitely one of the best players on our side, and he's a nice guy who has really never had a mistep before.

    Have some heart and show a little loyalty.

  • This isn't the first time Hamlett had an issue with a player. There was an issue between him and Tomasz Frankowski last year...

  • Adam, my recollection of that was that Frankowski was pissed because of lack of playing time and he felt that Hamlett didn't communicate to him why he wasn't starting. It wasn't a locker room incident, and Frankowski complained to the media on the way out the door.

    For the record, Frankowski needed to merely watch 15 minutes of his play to know exactly why he was riding the pine.

  • In reply to Byron:

    You mean the home opener against NE last year?

  • In reply to Byron:

    Can they sort this out over a beer at the White House?

    Because of the storm, my Tivo only got about 30 minutes of the first half. How did Dasan look? I'm curious how he will fit into the Fire's plans for next year when the defense is gutted? Can they bring Franz Mathieu out of retirement? He is my all-time favorite former Sting player.

  • In reply to Byron:

    http://ekstraklasa.tv/ekstraklasa/10,91668,6930153,3__kolejka__Jagiellonia___Korona_2_0__Frankowski__2_0_.html
    That was in the 83rd minute this past weekend. 2 goals in 3 games thus far this year in Poland.

  • In reply to Byron:

    Frankowski was just an example of Hamlett having issues with players on the team. I think because there are good players that make up for Hamlett lack of creativity. You put him on any other team and you would see he isn't such a good coach...

  • In reply to Byron:

    If someone is going to mention Frantz Mathieu; let me tell you what would have happened in 1984.
    The STING player having the "disagreement" with head coach Willy Roy would mysteriously go onto the disabled list with a 'pulled groin'.
    And there were lots of people calling for Willy to be fired.

    Just one funny thing happened - the team rallied in September and wound up winning the NASL Championship.
    But nobody wants you to recall that. And a certain daily Chicago newspaper {glances up at browser title line} was giving barely any coverage to the team. Hmmm...

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