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Soumare deal is win-win for all parties
May 23rd, 2013 11:34PM

TAGS:  chicago fire, mls, philadelphia union


[MLS TRANSACTIONS] Few deals seem to work out for all parties, but the Bakary Soumare trade is one of them. The Malian international defender returns to Chicago, where he owns a home, and the Philadelphia Union get from the Fire allocation money and a 2014 MLS SuperDraft natural second-round pick for a player it no longer needed.

Soumare asked for a trade after starting the season on the bench, though he did play in recent weeks in place of injured Jeff Parke.

The emergence of former midfielder Amobi Okugo as a qualiyy central defender and the offseason acquisition of Parke, a native Philadelphian, from Seattle made Soumare surplus requirements at the Union.

The Fire needs help on its backline, where German Arne Friedrich has been injured and has not played this season.

Soumare was an MLS Best XI selection in 2008 before famously falling out with then-coach Dennis Hamlett. He was sold to French club Boulogne in 2009, but his stay there soured after Boulogne was relegated.

Soumare was born in Mali and raised in Paris before following his sister Aminata -- a college basketball player at the University of California -- to the United States. He was taken in by a family in Manhattan and played college ball at the University of Virginia before joining the Fire in 2007.

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