Join Now | 
HomeAboutContact UsPrivacy & SecurityAdvertise
Soccer America DailySoccer World DailySpecial EditionAround The NetSoccer Business InsiderCollege Soccer ReporterYouth Soccer ReporterSoccer on TVSoccer America ClassifiedsGame Report
Paul Gardner: SoccerTalkSoccer America ConfidentialYouth Soccer InsiderWorld Cup Watch
RSS FeedsArchivesManage SubscriptionsSubscribe
Order Current IssueSubscribeManage My SubscriptionRenew My SubscriptionGift Subscription
My AccountJoin Now
Tournament CalendarCamps & AcademiesSoccer GlossaryClassifieds
Soumare, exiled by Fire, returns to France
by Ridge Mahoney, August 26th, 2009 7AM



[MLS] At a transfer fee reported as $1.4 million and $2.1 million by various outlets, and said by a source to be $2 million, MLS and Chicago have agreed to sell defender Bakary Soumare to French club Boulogne. The club - along with a few other teams -- had expressed interest in Soumare in June, shortly after the European season ended, but MLS and the Fire tamped down the inquiry though an offer was reportedly made. A native of Mali, Soumare, 23, moved to the Paris suburb of St. Denis at age 3 and to New York at age 15.

Though uncertainty about Fire teammate Wilman Conde has quieted as the season unraveled for ex-Chicago coach Juan Carlos Osorio, who had also coached Conde in Colombia, the MLS team had hoped to keep Soumare for the entire season in its bid to win a second MLS Cup. But he and head coach Denis Hamlett tangled in the locker room at halftime of 3-2 loss to Houston Aug. 9; Soumare was replaced by Mike Banner at halftime and didn't played in three subsequent games. The team, not the league as erroneously reported by some outlets, fined both men undisclosed amounts.

French Web sites state he has signed a four-year contract. No salary figures have been reported and no confirmation has yet been released by the Fire nor MLS. His MLS base salary is listed as $105,000 and total compensation as $138,000 for the 2009 season.

Under a formula adopted two years ago, a team that loses a player in a transfer deal receives between 60 percent and two-thirds of the fee. A 1.4-million euro deal converts to slightly more than $2 million, of which Chicago would receive approximately $1.2 million.

Chicago drafted Soumare as a generation adidas player out of the University of Virginia with the second overall pick of the 2007 SuperDraft. He played 19 regular-season games in his rookie season and last year played 28 matches and earned selection to the MLS Best XI, which prompted his first callup last February to Mali's national team.

He grew up in Paris before moving to New York as a teenager, and is an admirer of fellow Malian Freddy Kanoute, who played in France (Lyon) and England (West Ham, Tottenham) before moving to Spanish club Sevilla.

"He's one of my countrymen," said Soumare of Kanoute in an interview last October. "Obviously I like PSG because I grew up in the Paris region. They haven't been doing so well the past five or six years but that's the team I grew up with.

"In England, my first team is Chelsea. They've done a great job building a great team with players from so many countries while retaining a core of English players. It's fantastic.

"It's not that easy to build a team with players from different backgrounds and different cultures. [Jose] Mourinho did a great job and I really enjoy watching them play. They have a lot of players from Africa and any time you see African players do well, it makes you proud."

Boulogne earned promotion to Ligue 1 for the first time last spring and hired Coach Laurent Guyot after the man who had guided it to promotion, Philippe Montanier, left to take over at Valenciennes.

No comments yet.

Sign in to leave a comment. Don't have an account? Join Now



Recent Soccer America Daily
Johnson scores again in Champions League    
Fabian Johnson scored in his second straight game for Borussia Moenchengladbach in the UEFA Champions League ...
Coach Michelle French names 20 for U-20 Women's World Cup qualifying    
Eight collegians and 12 youth club players comprise Coach Michelle French's roster for the U-20 Women's ...
MLS preseason returns to Tucson in 2016    
Ten MLS teams will take part in preseason training in Tucson, Arizona, where the 2016 Desert ...
Ellis calls up Colaprico and Lavelle for first time    
U.S. women's national team coach Jill Eilis called in 28 players -- 20 who went to ...
What They're Saying: Chris Dangerfield    
'We used to go to movies, have cups of tea, strange things you do when you ...
What They're Saying: Tim Leiweke    
"I think we have found a site. It's probably different than what people think we're doing, ...
Video Pick: How Ronaldo gets treated by customs     
Cristiano Ronaldo doesn't seem to have a difficult time getting through customs, as demonstrated by this ...
NASL's Jacksonville banks on Tony Meola    
Hall of Fame goalkeeper Tony Meola, whose previous coaching experience since retiring as a player in ...
Video Pick: Messi proves he's fully recovered    
Lionel Messi, out of Barcelona's starting lineup for two months because of a knee injury, scored ...
Red Bulls' success nets Marsch Coach of the Year honors    
Inexperienced head coaches don't often flourish in MLS, yet in just his second season as a ...
>> Soccer America Daily Archives