Union Sign Defender Bakary Soumare

Union Sign Defender Bakary Soumare

  • Posted by Drew Epperley
  • On June 25, 2012
  • 2012 MLS Allocation Order, Bakary Soumare, Features

Soumare (left) heads back to MLS to join the Union. (Getty Images)

The Philadelphia Union took a big step forward today and used some of that extra allocation money that they have been storing up this season to finally land a big defender.

According to FOX Soccer, the Union have signed former Chicago Fire defender Bakary Soumare, selecting him with the top spot in the MLS Allocation Order, which the Union acquired from the Vancouver Whitecaps in a trade completed last week. Philadelphia moved from number 12 on the order to snag Soumare.

The 6-foot-4 Mali native will officially become a Union player on July 27, when MLS’ summer transfer window opens.

The 26-year old Soumare brings a big body to the defense to replace Danny Califf, who was traded away earlier this season to Chivas USA.

Reports suggest that the Union used some of their allocation money to trade for the Allocation Order spot with Vancouver. An estimated $100k-150k was sent to the Whitecaps in this swap.

The Chicago Fire did have the rights to Soumare but by league rule once a team has used the funds secured in the transfer of a player, they lose the rights to that player. Soumare left Chicago in 2009 to join then French First Division side Boulogne on a $2 million transfer, a record for an MLS defender at the time.

Soumare joins a Union defense that is currently one of the worst in the league. He will add some much needed size to the defense and will add a good threat in the air on set pieces for the Union as well.