Soumaré headed back to the Fire - updated

After weeks of speculation about a deal to bring defender Bakary Soumare back to the Fire, an agreement has finally been reached. Details of the trade are still being finalized but Soumaré has left Philadelphia and is headed to back to Chicago. The deal apparently still includes the Union picking up a big portion of Soumaré’s contract but how much is unclear.

The Fire would need to make a move to make room for Soumaré’s salary (even at a reduced rate) and it’s expected that the move will involve the retirement of Arne Friedrich. The Soumaré trade should be made official relatively soon.

It’s going to be busy around Toyota Park as the club is still working on a deal with Los Angeles for the rights to Robbie Rogers.


The trade is now official. The Fire have sent a 2014 second round pick and undisclosed (is there any other kind?) allocation money to Philadelphia in exchange for Bakary Soumaré. The Fire travel to Real Salt Lake this weekend and Soumaré will be available for selection.

“We’re excited to have Bakary rejoin the Chicago Fire,” said President of Andell Sports Group Javier Leon, who apparently has a new title. “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.”

The Fire seemingly have been holding on to allocation money in order to make a move in July but injuries and Soumaré’s availability necessitate a move now. Once Arne Friedrich’s situation is cleared up and another move or two is completed the Fire should theoretically be able to get more in allocation for July reinforcements.



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  • Can someone clarify for me whether this is a good thing or a bad thing?

    We add an internationally capped, freakishly tall defender to shore up the back line.

    "El Diablo" hopefully gets pulled from the starting line-up: no more inane/reckless tackles or embarrassingly ill-timed red cards.

    We spend money that could've been put towards a striker or two (any word on how much of his $350k we're picking up?)

    We spend said money on a player who wasn't even starting on a mediocre team.

    We spend said money on a player whose behavior, at times, doesn't indicate the most congenial, team-oriented personality (e.g., the fistfight with his former Fire coach, his reputation for over-aggressiveness, the violent shoulder-spear he gave Quincy Amarikwa two weekends ago).

    I'm also curious as to why he left the team in 2009.

  • In reply to Adam Morgan:

    His departure in 2009 was hastened by the run-in with Hamlett but he was going to go overseas anyhow. He had an offer from France and the Fire transferred him out there.

    The difference between the amount the Fire are picking up in his salary and that of Friedrich (if he does retire) should give them six figure budget space to work with.

    They're still pursuing a striker. We'll just have to wait and see if they can pull it off.

  • In reply to Guillermo Rivera:

    Six figures sounds good to me. Now convince them to go after Diego Forlan! Can you imagine the impact on the team? The international headlines we'd get?

  • In reply to Adam Morgan:

    That's my assumption, but again we don't know how much Philly will be paying at the moment.

    Forlan would certainly draw some attention.

  • In reply to Adam Morgan:

    El diablo and Soumare are similarity reckless. Maybe my memory is bad but I remember Bakary being a card machine and always on the brink of giving up PK's

  • In reply to MikeRUZE:

    Baky was good for some clumsy challenges back then but he's better now, although I wouldn't exactly call him graceful.

  • In reply to MikeRUZE:

    He's a very physical player which is a nice way to say expect cards to be dealt. Seagares is also prone to penalties, his rough play has been over shadowed by the exploits of el diablo. I think our defense is now Chicago tough which is a good thing until we are playing down a man. Hopefully they can be smart about it.

  • Mixed feelings on this, especially if Arne really is retiring.

    On the one hand, Soumaré put in a couple good years with the Fire. And like Friedrich, he loves and belongs in Chicago. He also will provide more cover at center back, and could free up Anibaba to go out wide - meaning that El Diablo will have to find another patch of turf to patrol.

    On the other hand, Soumaré has not gotten much playing time over the past couple of years, was not the best towards the end in Chicago, and will take cap space that could be used for other needs.

    And if Friedrich retires... well, at least he provided nearly a season of service on the field and some extra time as a locker room leader. But with his retirement would go any last hope of him putting on his Superman cape to save the season. (I know, finishing seems to be our current problem, but if could save us a goal every couple games or so what a difference that could make!).

  • In reply to Modibo:

    The next few weeks should be interesting. This move really only makes sense if Friedrich isn't available for the rest of the year.

    There should be other moves coming.

  • Sad news on Arne. Klopas better start to train in boxing.

  • In reply to Drew:

    Klopas is "still right here"

  • I'm happy to have a player back that loves the city, the fans and the badge. I have to see him as being sincere when he says his heart is with the Fire because what player would want to come to a losing club with no sight of improvement if he didn't have a deep emotional connection with the club. That being said, everyone is right, his addition will most likely have little effect on winning games. I also don't believe that the Fire will sign a player anytime soon that can make a big enough difference to turn this season around. They can't identify talent and won't spend the money, so the extra money they would have choosing not to pick up soumare wouldn't make a difference either.

  • Send us your overpaid players!

    Terrible move, the talent gap between Arne and Bakary is tremendous.

    Philly is paying some slary but according to Ives he's close to DP money. So does that mean this next yr we are on the hook?

    I hope we aren't giving up our first round pick next year cause at this rate it might be the number one pick. I hope we are making Philly take one of our overpaid players in return like Pause, Thompson, or Lindpere.

    I hope we aren't pushing out a talented highly priced but injury prone defender for a less talented more overpriced and oft injured defender.

    Fire are beckoming suckers of MLS.

  • In reply to MikeRUZE:

    That's what you get for reading Ives before asking here. ;)

    They won't be on the hook for all of Soumare's cost next year either.

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    I was sad Bakary left when he did. Now, I can't help but be thankful he's back. Arne is great, and he was a big reason we did so well last year. Add in Pardo and you have the right veterans to make a push to get into the playoffs. Bakary needs to step up and become one of the vets on the team after he's acclimated himself a bit. Welcome back buddy.

  • In reply to waam:

    Have been wondering where you were, waam. Thought the performance of the team might have driven you completely away. Glad that's not the case... though I was wondering if I should join you in self-exile.

  • Note: the Fire have revised the release to clarify that Leon's title is still President of Soccer Operations.

  • Don't worry GR, I'll never trade you for Ives. Partially because he blocked me on twitter for a Tebow-related response but hey, that's neither here nor there.

    I don't mind the trade as long as Philly is picking up a bulk of his salary. How many years are left on his contract? I hope this frees up space for a quality striker.

  • In reply to c0quito18:

    2 more after this one I believe.

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    First Rolfe. Now Soumare. Can we expect Justin in the next transfer window?

  • Don't forget Segares

  • Wonderful. Now all these 1-0 losses will shift to 0-0 draws. Up the table we go!

  • Guys what is the record for the least amount of goals in a season. The fire must be on the road for some record. Also what is the record for the least amount of wins in a season.

  • In reply to brokerjohn:

    Least amount of goals in a season......DC United scored 21 times in 30 games during the 2010 season.

    Least amount of wins in a season.....Chivas USA went 4-22-6 in 2005.

  • Guys what is the least amount of goals scored in a season. Also what is the least amount of wins in a season. If we cannot get in the playoffs perhaps we can achieve some milestone in a season.

  • Guys if we keep scoring at the current rate we will score less goals than any team in the history of the mls. We should win at least three more games so that record will not be reached.

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