- Posted by Drew Epperley
- On August 24, 2009
- 2 Comments
- Bakary Soumare, Boulogne
Looks like the locker-room issue in Chicago surrounding defender Bakary Soumare and manager Denis Hamlett is resolved today. Reports from France say the Fire have sold the All-Star defender to French club Boulogne for a little over $2 million.
For a club struggling for consistent play at home, losing their best defender in this manner is going to be a bigger blow than some people will be willing to admit. Hamlett said Soumare wasn’t committed to play for the Fire any more and the club did well to get rid of the locker room head ache as quickly as they could here.
The 23-year-old holds a French passport and is expected to step in and compete for a starting job for Boulogne, currently in seventh place in Ligue 1.His passport and play with Mali gained him some big time interest from French clubs last year. In a way we could say the writing was on the wall for a big transfer for Soumare.
Now back to things from a Fire standpoint. A move across the pond was going to happen eventually for Soumare. The Fire know that this winter will probably be a long one for replacing talent. There was no doubt they couldn’t have just traded Soumare to keep him in MLS (even with the league holding two more option years on his contract). There was just no way the Fire would have gotten a good face value trade for an All-Star defender like Soumare.
From a cup half-full kind of view, the Fire now have a good bit of cash to spend on redoing their defense this fall. On the flip-side, they now head into an important stretch without one of the league’s best defenders.