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Soumare eyeing return to MLS

Soumare (ISIphotos)

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When centerback Bakary Soumare left MLS in 2009, he was one of the league's top defenders, a young player with a bright future and one who fetched the largest transfer fee for an MLS defender prior to Tim Ream's sale to Bolton. After a few years in Europe, Soumare could be on the verge of returning to the league where he began his professional career. 

Sources told Fox Soccer that Soumare is eyeing a return to MLS as soon as this summer. Currently on loan from French club Boulogne to 2. Bundesliga side Karlsruhe, the 26-year-old Soumare, a fixture with the Mali national team and former University of Virginia standout, could help a number of MLS clubs who are short-handed at centerback. A total package of great athleticism, size and pace, Soumare was a finalist for MLS Defensive Player of the Year in 2008 for the Chicago Fire, but he was involved in a locker room rift that helped facilitate his move overseas.

As a player who left MLS for a transfer fee, Soumare would be subject to the league's allocation order should he return, according to the league rulebook.

What do you think of this development?

Share your thoughts below.


  1. This is great news! He was a tremendous asset to the FIRE and I hope he comes back here! Someday we’ll get the real true story of what happened, but at the time I thought he he got a raw deal. Bakary, on t’attends aussitot aque p;ossible, inshalla!

  2. I ran into him at the Chicago airport last week and approached him, this guy is a first class act. After taking a picture with him, we stood there for about 10 minutes and carried a normal conversation despite him just getting off a flight from Germany. He mentioned being home to have a small surgery done. Considering the current allocation order, I think it’s fair to say that he will be going to TFC. They are in a need for a center back experience ne who is still young, familiar with the league, has experience and leadership skills!!!

  3. After checking, I believe the Revs are in the top spot now. MTL used their allocation on Eddie Johnson, then traded him. VAN was #2 and used it on Lee Nguyen, then waived him. NE is #3 and TOR is #4.

    I think this was the order, not adjusted for any trade of spot that has occurred (correct me if I’m wrong):

    MTL: E. Johnson
    VAN: L. Nguyen

  4. I hope he ends up with the Red Bulls, would be great to upgrade over Holgersson. Who is on top of the allocation order?

  5. Of course, happens regularly. For instance, when Troy Perkins came back to MLS in 2010, United traded Fred and allocation money to Philly in exchange for their allocation spot so they could grab Troy.

    The interesting thing about MLS’ structure is that while there are tons of idiosyncrasies and special practices for player allocation — everything can be traded, and it creates some interesting market scenarios.

  6. As a another fire fan, I completely disagree with you. Not only he was a beast, but he also had the technical attributes that made him better than your average CB. He improved a lot, technically, during his time with the Fire. I remember him playing 50-60 yard balls right on target. He also covered so much ground on the field that he made Conde look really good. Conde’s weaknessese were immediately exposed once the kid left. His main problem was that he was sometimes overly agressive which would result in him getting carded and the team conceding fouls in dangerous spots. I had the opportunity to watch the kid play during a recent trip to Frankfurt and I was amazed by how much he improved. He is a lot calmer on the ball and picks up a lot of balls by being at the right place

  7. Does he have any affiliation with Scandinavia? Does he at least shop at IKEA?

    If yes to either of the two questions, eligible to attract interest from RBNY.

    Seriously though, we need help at CB, lets get him!

  8. as a Fire fan, I disagree with you wholeheartedly. Funny thing is that team he went to made him Captain his 2nd season there. Not sure what in the hell you’re talking about but someone who was good enough to play in Cup of Nations Finals a few years ago and start less than a year after leaving the Fire must have some talent.

  9. I think VAN actually has top spot in allocation order now, no? I think it was MON before, but they used it up on Eddie Johnson before swapping him to SEA for Neagle/Fucito.

    If so, then it would be reverse order of 2011 finish:

    Chivas USA

  10. The article states it pretty clearly, UMSNT OR were purchased from MLS. It’s really not that oppressive. Soumare is the only one that I can think of who falls into this second category.

    What is the current allocation order anyway?

  11. The article states:

    As a player who left MLS for a transfer fee, Soumare would be subject to the league’s allocation order should he return, according to the league rulebook.

    I trust SBI is well versed in these things.

  12. As I Fire fan I can honestly say the guy was vastly overrated had little to no technical ability and no presence on the ball. I thought we fleeced the team we sold him to…and I looks to be true now

  13. The Galaxy would be on the market for a CB obviously although with their accounting and allocation wizardry to date — and with money pinned on the inactive Gonzo — the question would be if they had room to manuever at his pay grade.

    If they could deal with the salary, LAG clearly need athleticism in the CB, Soumare over John.

    Why would he be an allocation he’s a foreign international who was transfered? I thought that applied to domestic internationals.

  14. I hope he returns to the Fire. He was close with S8 and I’d bet he’d return if there was no allocation order. I’d love to sport my Soumare jersey again.

  15. don’t get it either. Basically if you are ever part of MLS, USSF or ever step foot in US/Canada soil your fate will always rest on a lottery system. If you have avoided doing any of those things then you are free to decide your club future yourself. So dumb.

  16. Why would he be subject to the allocation order he is not a USMNT player. Would he not be treated like any free agent foreign player?

  17. “A total package of great athleticism, size and pace”? Sounds great for a helmet-ball player, but what about soccer skills? He can’t pass to save his life, that’s why the Fire moved him from midfield to the backline.

  18. Obviously the Galaxy could use him but the allocation order will determine that. We’ll have to check the allocation to find out but I’m guessing Galaxy are way down.

    Galaxy should make a deal for George John. The ask price should be high though.

  19. I think we can all agree that the Galaxy can get stuffed. Soumare owns a home in Chicago, still. Enough said.


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