Bakary Soumare is officially back in MLS as a member of the Philadelphia Union.
The Vancouver Whitecaps and Philadelphia Union announced their trade Tuesday in which the Whitecaps acquired allocation money and the Union's first-round pick in the 2013 MLS SuperDraft in exchange for the top spot in the MLS allocation order and a 2013 SuperDraft second-round pick. The Union used that allocation spot to sign Soumare, a former Best XI MLS defender with the Chicago Fire before going overseas to French club Boulogne. FOX Soccer first reported the deal on Monday.
Because he is a former MLS player who fetched a transfer fee, and the team that held his rights spent that money, Soumare, a Mali international, needed to go through the allocation order to return to MLS. At 26, the 6-foot-4 Soumare is a potential anchor in the back for Philadelphia, which has lacked centerback depth to the point that Carlos Valdes is the only true centerback on the roster.
Amobi Okugo has filled in admirably in recent games and will likely continue to do so while Soumare works his way back into match fitness. He has been out of competitive action for several months, according to FOX Soccer.
As for the Whitecaps, they passed on the chance to use their place in the allocation order with the summer transfer window opening Wednesday and instead stockpiled other assets to continue to build their roster. They will already officially welcome Designated Player Barry Robson from Middlesbrough upon the opening of the window.
"There were a number of factors involved in this trade, including our current and future needs, the players available through allocation ranking, as well as the strength of next year's MLS SuperDraft," Whitecaps coach Martin Rennie said in a team statement. "In the end, we are very pleased with the assets we've acquired, as allocation money is an important asset in our league, and we have seen the value that a first-round pick can bring in either a quality player or something that can be turned into assets down the road."
With the trade and selection, Philadelphia goes to the end of the line in the allocation order, while New England rises to the top spot and Vancouver moves to the Union's position, which was 12th before the trade.
What do you think of this development? Do you think Vancouver got a good haul for its allocation spot? Do you think Soumare can help turn the Union into a playoff contender?
Share your thoughts below.