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updated: 5/23/2013 6:13 PM

Fire trades draft pick to Philly for Soumare

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  • Central defender Bakary Soumare is getting his wish of being traded back to the Chicago Fire.

      Central defender Bakary Soumare is getting his wish of being traded back to the Chicago Fire.
    Daily Herald File photo

 
 

The Chicago Fire reacquired central defender Bakary Soumare in a trade with the Philadelphia Union on Thursday.

The Fire gave up a second-round draft pick and an undisclosed amount of allocation money for Soumare.

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"We're excited to have Bakary rejoin the Chicago Fire," said president of Andell Sports Group Javier Leon. "Bakary is a strong, dependable defender with experience in MLS and abroad and will help us challenge both in MLS and in the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup. We know that Bakary considers Chicago to be his home and we're happy to welcome him back to the Fire family."

A team source said Soumare could make the trip to Utah for Saturday's game against Real Salt Lake (8 p.m., Channel 50).

Soumare, 27, was originally a first-round draft pick of the Fire's in 2007, No. 2 overall, but left the club in 2009 to play in France with first-division side Boulogne. He also played with Karlsruhe in Germany before re-signing with MLS and going to Philadelphia.

A change in the Philadelphia coaching staff, however, left Soumare as the odd man out there, and when it became clear he would not play, he asked to be traded.

He has played in the Union's last three games, two against the Fire, because of an injury to starter Jeff Parke. With Parke now healthy, the 6-foot-4 Soumare was again expendable. Soumare has maintained a home in Chicago even after leaving the Fire and traveled often to Chicago.

Though born in Mali, Soumare is a U.S. citizen and will not occupy one of the team's international roster slots. He will be the 27th player on the Fire roster, still three below the league maximum.

When Soumare joins the starting lineup, he'll likely pair with 2012 MLS rookie of the year Austin Berry at central defense with Jalil Anibaba moving to right back.

Follow Orrin on Twitter @orrin_schwarz

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