Photo: Paul Rudderow
(Author’s note: This post was updated at 6:42 p.m. to reflect the official confirmation and terms of the deal.)
Philadelphia Union have traded center back Bakary Soumare to the Chicago Fire for a 2014 second round draft pick and an undisclosed amount of allocation money.
Soumare confirmed the deal in an email to the Philly Soccer Page this morning. The Union announced the deal Thursday evening.
““We are thankful for Bakary’s contributions to the Union and wish him the best of luck as he continues his career,” Union manager John Hackworth said in a statement posted on the team’s web site.
Soumare, 27, joined the Union last June from Germany shortly after the man who secured his acquisition, former Union manager Peter Nowak, was fired. The Union had traded a first round draft pick and allocation money for Soumare, who had been an all-star with Chicago before leaving for Europe and was expected to anchor the Union’s back line. However, Soumare was carrying an injury that failed to heal properly and missed all but one game last season.
This year, Soumare went into training camp healthy, but Union manager John Hackworth opted to keep converted midfielder Amobi Okugo at center back, where he flourished last year under Hackworth. Okugo started with newly acquired Philadelphia-area native Jeff Parke at center back on opening day, leaving Soumare on the bench.
Soumare privately requested a trade after that opening day game and then forced the issue two weeks later when he went public to PSP about his trade request. Hackworth said he would accommodate Soumare’s request.
The trade would ostensibly take Soumare’s $310,000 base salary off the Union payroll, unless the Union pick up part of the tab.* Soumare’s departure potentially frees space for other acquisitions, such as a left back.
Soumare expressed interest in going to Chicago, in part because he had previously played for the club and still maintains his home there. Chicago’s top center back, Arne Friedrich, has been out all season with an injury, and there have been indications he could end up retiring because of it.
This post will be updated as more information becomes available.