Union deal Soumare to Fire (UPDATED)

Bakary Soumare (4)

By IVES GALARCEP

If the Chicago Fire needed some convincing that they should make a trade for Bakary Soumare, a pair of shutout losses coming at the hands of a defense featuring Soumare did the trick.

The Fire are set to acquire have acquired Soumare from the Philadelphia Union, sources confirmed to SBI on Thursday. Details of the trade have yet to be made available, but sources tell SBI that Philadelphia will be picking up a significant portion of Soumare’s salary in the trade, which is expected to be announced by Friday.

(UPDATED- Sources have confirmed to SBI that the Fire will send a 2nd-round pick in the 2014 MLS Draft and a small amount of allocation money to the Union in exchange for Soumare. The Union will also be picking up a portion of Soumare’s salary both this year and in 2014.)

Soumare is expected to join the Fire for their upcoming match vs. Real Salt Lake.

The deal reunites Soumare with the Fire, who he left in the summer of 2009 after securing a $2 million transfer to French club Boulogne. He spent parts of three seasons with Boulogne, also spending a half season on loan to Bundesliga 2 side Karlsruhe.

A finalist for MLS Defender of the Year in 2008, Soumare endured a serious knee injury that sidelined him prior to his return to MLS in 2012. His recovery from knee surgery appears to be complete after showing well in consecutive starts this month, both shutout wins vs. the Fire.

The fact Chicago is willing to trade for Soumare suggests Arne Friedrich’s injury situation is not improving. Sources tell SBI that part of the hold-up in the Fire’s pursuit of Soumare was trying to give Friedrich as much time as possible to recover from a nagging hamstring injury. With the German veteran not showing signs of recovering, it appears more likely now that he will either retire or reach an agreement to leave the Fire.

So why are the Union making the deal? The move offers some cap relief in 2013 (more than $100,000), which Philadelphia can use to sign a player this season. The deal also frees up a significant amount of salary cap space in 2014, when Soumare’s salary is set to be even higher (sources tell me it will be close to max non-DP salary) and when the Union’s paid portion of that deal is reduced.

Along with being rid of a majority of Soumare’s contract in 2014, theĀ Union will also see a significant amount of cap room freed up in 2014 that is currently being occupied by dead money (players bought out and transfer fee portions from older deals) as well as by Brazilian midfielder Kleberson, who is on a one-year loan deal with the Union. The Union will now have a considerable amount of cap room in 2014, as well as potentially having three picks in the Top 25 of the 2014 MLS Draft, a draft that is expected to be stronger and deeper than this year’s draft.

Soumare, 28, has made just three starts for the Union since joining Philadelphia last summer, but he appears to finally be over the knee injury that kept him sidelined. He will be expected to challenge for a starting centerback spot right away, which will likely mean a move back to right back for Jalil Anibaba.

While Soumare’s acquisition should help the Fire defense, their struggling attack continues to be an issue and it is one the team is actively working to improve. Sources have told SBI that Chicago has held trade talks with multiple MLS teams, including the Galaxy, which the Fire continue to work with on a potential deal for the rights to Robbie Rogers. The sides were believed to still be far apart as recently as last week.

What do you think of the deal?

Share your thoughts below.

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40 Responses to Union deal Soumare to Fire (UPDATED)

  1. James says:

    This is a terrible move and I hate it.

  2. Esteban de la Sexface says:

    I wonder if Amobi Okugo is okay with not playing midfield for the foreseeable future. He’s playing well at CB but it’s rare for one to play for the USMNT that’s only 6′. Anyone know if he’s been asked about it?

    • PD says:

      I’m beginning to get the feeling that no one in the FO or coaching staff much cares about what players or fans think…

    • Drew says:

      He talked about it on either Ives or Extratime radio podcast cant remember… He seemed okay with it, but you could tell he just didnt want to say Hackworth doesn’t know how to utilize any of his players

    • Hogatroge says:

      Boca’s only 6’0″

      So is Besler

  3. Al17 says:

    Great to have him back but the Fire’s BIGGEST issue is Scoring Goals or did I miss something?

    • Esteban de la Sexface says:

      No, you didn’t miss anything, but it could help a bit with the offense as with Anibaba on the right, the defenders can press a little higher and create turnovers. Maybe.

      • Al17 says:

        I disagree it may help stop goals from being scored but if you can’t score them then it’s moot. This ANEMIC offense which is offensive needs an SOS not mention a better distributor out of the midfield.

  4. Bob B says:

    It is about time the Fire do something, anything! The mismanagement of the franchise with absentee ownership and a real lack of player talent assessment has really hurt the team in the last 4-5 years! Hey, Becks maybe this is the team you want to buy into when you exercise your option for a MLS purchase. Posh will love Chicago , it is a real cosmopolitan world-class city that deserves a world-class team! Bob

  5. Pingback: Report: Philadelphia Union set to deal Bakary Soumare back to Chicago Fire | MajorLeagueSoccer.Info

  6. ed - houston says:

    Another PR nightmare for Philly.

    • Really Ed? says:

      I disagree. He’s back on the bench now that Parke is recovered from injury, and we don’t have to keep him for the ballooned salary next year.

      • ed - houston says:

        LOL, i like your title name. Seriously though, it just “appears” that the Hackster has probs handling player issues.

    • T P says:

      Honestly, I don’t think Philly is making a bad move here. Parke, insofar as I’ve seen this season, is so much better than Soumare. Soumare is overpriced and only made 4 games for Philly, 3 of which were against the Fire. The two recent shutouts were against a ridiculously inept Fire front line. If Philly need defensive depth, they’re better off looking for a cheaper halfway decent non-international (not sure is Bakary counts as international or has a green card) than continuing to pay in the 300k range for a player who did not want to play for them and still calls Chicago his home and the Fire the team of his heart. Philly PR actually played this one well, coming from a non-Union fans standpoint.

      • PD says:

        I have no idea how much of a diva Soumare was being about starting, but last I checked, having three players who could be your #1 CB was a problem that didn’t need fixing. They better get depth soon or this is gonna bite them in the keystone before the season is over.

        • broadsthooligans says:

          It is a good problem to have, but having three of your highest paid players (Le Toux, Kleberson and Soumare) riding the bench is a problem that definitely needs some sorting out. The Union can’t afford to pay that kind of money to a bench player, nevertheless to three of them.

          • PD says:

            Well, if they are better team with those players on the field…which I seem to think they are… Not sure what else to say. Platoon Soumare, have Seba start over Cruz, have Kleberson play 65-70 minutes a match.

      • Steve l. says:

        Most of the issue from Philly fans is that we now only have 4 natural defenders. On the roster, 2 who are right backs 1 a CB and one who is 34 years old and hasn’t really played in 2 years, not exactly depth if some one goes down.

  7. Victor says:

    I like that he is coming back but yeah we have what 5 of our 10 games with 0 goals….embarrassing .

  8. Old School says:

    “In an on-going effort to connect with our Polish brethren, we are happy to announce the signing of Bakary Sourmareski”.

    -Inept Chicago Fire Front Office

  9. john says:

    I just hope the bag of chips is BBQ. Sorry but this is a terrible move. Last game he started was his best as he looked very fluid. Well there goes the depth on defense.

  10. steve says:

    nice to see him back with the fire

  11. Jeremy says:

    So the fire pick up some more overpaid players, by the time July rolls around we won’t be able to afford any striker besides Puppo, who were still paying

  12. WiscFan says:

    Surprised there wasn’t a 3 team trade. Soumare to Fire. Rogers to L.A. TBD (McGee might be too much) to Philly? You never know.

    • WiscFan says:

      *Magee. Not sure where my head was.

    • Fresh says:

      Why? Rogers is worth more than a 2nd round pick.

      • Michael F. SBI Mafia Original says:

        Player-wise Rogers isn’t worth much. He hasn’t been a factor on the field in about 3+ seasons. But he’s probably worth something media-wise.

      • Elber Galarga says:

        Why is he worth more? What has he done that makes him so valuable? Like mike mentioned, dude hasn’t payed much the last few years.

    • DDT5583 says:

      If Magee could be had for the rights to Rogers, we’d have taken Magee and let you keep Soumare.

    • WiscFan says:

      Wow, guess Magee was similar value to Rogers.

  13. Drew says:

    SO we traded a proven asset for the same pick this year who we didnt even sign… This FO is clueless

    We dooped Chivas and now the Fire dooped us… See what I did there

    • Sean says:

      On top of that we passed on a LB with the second round pick and cut a young cheap CB prior to the season starting who had lots of promise, who now plays for the Galaxy. Hackworth we need people to play defense we can’t just play 11 guys who have grit, ala Cruz. We need people who aren’t just fast. Something is wrong with our perception of how many players we need per position.

  14. Pingback: Fire Acquire Bakary Soumare |

  15. Michael F. SBI Mafia Original says:

    So what happens with the Adu situation at the end of the season. Freddy is still under contract to the Union the next two seasons is it? Will the Union go through another protracted where can we send him and what can we get?

    How is Kleberson doing? Anyone? Anyone? Bueller?

    • Ivor Driver says:

      Adu is no longer under contract with the Union/MLS – they mutually agreed to terminate his contract. Kleberson has played well in a CM/AM role playing in front of Carroll.

  16. Bob says:

    Ives, any word on keita? Are these rumours true?

  17. Dennis says:

    I did not know the Kleberson deal was a one-year loan. Ives, any idea what the agreed-upon transfer fee for Kleberson is? I assume there is one.

    • Ives Galarcep says:

      There is no fee for Kleberson. The deal was Philly taking Kleberson off Bahia’s hands and Bahia taking Adu off Philly’s hands. Both teams owed those players a lot of money and were able to get both players to give up money to make the moves away from bad situations for them. Now both players have a year to show their new teams they are worth keeping.

  18. Mike R says:

    Chicago Fires new motto:

    Send us your crap overpaid players that your looking to get rid of