Soumaré with Chicago Fire in December 2008
|Date of birth||9 November 1985|
|Place of birth||Bamako, Mali|
|Height||1.93 m (6 ft 4 in)|
|2002–2005||La Salle Cardinals|
|2012||→ Karlsruher SC (loan)||7||(0)|
|* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only|
Bakary Soumaré (born 9 November 1985) is a Malian former professional footballer who played as a defender. He played professionally in the United States, France, Germany and Canada, and earned twelve caps for the Mali national team.
Born in Bamako, Mali, Soumaré moved as a two-year-old to France with this family, growing up in Saint-Denis, a suburb of Paris. At sixteen he left France for New York City where he attended the Catholic high school La Salle Academy for four years, eventually earning a degree. Through an athletic scholarship he was then able to go to the University of Virginia where he stayed for three semesters until he was drafted into MLS.
Soumaré was drafted 2nd overall by the Chicago Fire in the 2007 MLS SuperDraft. After appearing on a substitute bench several times, Soumaré made his debut, coming on for Brian Plotkin, in a 0–0 draw against Real Salt Lake on 27 May 2007; on 1 July 2007, Soumaré received a straight red card for a violent conduct in a 0–0 draw against Colorado Rapids.
He since established himself in the first team. During the 2008 season, Soumaré scored an own goal against the team, which he played his first game against, in a 1–1 draw on the opening game of the season. Despite this, he was later nominated for the MLS Defender of the Year award, alongside Jimmy Conrad and eventual winner Chad Marshall. On 31 May 2009, Soumaré's aggressive on-field play continued as he received a red card after a second bookable offence in a 3–0 loss against Dallas. In August 2009, Soumaré was fined for being involved in a fight with manager Denis Hamlett during the half-time interval of their game against Houston Dynamo.
In August 2009, Soumaré joined French club US Boulogne on a four-year contract, for a reported fee of $2.200.000 Soumaré made his debut for the club on 19 August 2009, in a 2–0 loss against Ligue 1 champion Bordeaux. On 20 March 2010, Soumaré received a straight red card in a 3–0 loss against Paris Saint-Germain. At the end of the season Boulogne was relegated to Ligue 2 while Soumaré was promoted as captain ahead of the new season. Soumaré scored his first goal of his career in a 1–0 win over Reims on 29 October 2010; his second came on his last game of the season in a 3–2 win over Tours on 22 April 2011. A clause in his contract allowed him to go on a loan when Boulogne got relegated. Boulogne loaned Soumaré out for a fee of €500,000. In total, Soumaré made 65 league appearances for Boulogne.
In January 2012, Soumaré signed for German club Karlsruher SC on loan until the end of the 2011–12 season, having previously linked with 2. Bundesliga side Fortuna Düsseldorf and Ingolstadt 04. Soumaré made his debut on 5 February in a 2–1 win over Erzgebirge Aue. However, his season got cut short due to a knee injury.
Soumaré returned to Major League Soccer when he signed with Philadelphia Union on 26 June 2012. Philadelphia traded with Vancouver Whitecaps FC to move up in the MLS Allocation Order and gain the right to sign Soumaré. Bakary made his first return in MLS since leaving Chicago Fire, in a 3–1 loss against his former club on 13 August 2012. In September 2012 he had an exploratory follow-up to the major knee surgery he underwent in April 2012.
Return to Chicago
After playing back-to-back games against his old club, Philadelphia traded Soumaré back to Chicago Fire on 23 May 2013 in exchange for allocation money and a second-round pick in the 2014 MLS SuperDraft.
Soumaré's second stint in Chicago was not as successful as his first and the club declined his 2015 contract option at the conclusion of the 2014 season. In December 2014, Soumaré entered the 2014 MLS Re-Entry Draft and was selected in stage two by Montreal Impact. He officially signed with the Impact on 6 January 2015. He asked to leave the club in July 2015.
Soumaré had expressed a desire to represent the United States at international level once he would become an American citizen. At the time of the announcement, he believed he would have his citizenship by sometime in 2009. After that was not possible, Soumaré declared himself for Mali, making his debut in 2009. In the Africa Cup of Nations, Soumaré was in a squad and made two appearances, playing 90 minutes and receiving a yellow card, resulting in a miss for one game.
|Chicago Fire||2007||Major League Soccer||19||0||1||0||1||0||–||21||0|
|Karlsruher SC (loan)||2011–12||2. Bundesliga||7||0||0||0||0||0||–||7||0|
|Philadelphia Union||2012||Major League Soccer||1||0||0||0||0||0||–||1||0|
|Chicago Fire||2013||Major League Soccer||22||0||4||0||–||–||26||0|
|Montreal Impact||2015||Major League Soccer||10||0||0||0||–||6||0||16||0|
|FC Dallas||2015||Major League Soccer||0||0||–||0||0||–||0||0|
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- Allan Ramsay (6 November 2008). "Columbus' Marshall wins MLS Defender of the Year". Sports Illustrated. Retrieved 13 April 2011.
- Ives Galarcep (15 August 2009). "Chicago Fire to fine Hamlett and Soumare for locker-room fight". SoccerByIves.net. Retrieved 13 April 2011.
- Ives Galarcep (24 August 2009). "Bakary Soumare sold to French club Boulogne". SoccerByIves.net. Retrieved 13 April 2011.
- Nick Firchau (10 February 2012). "What Ever Happened To ... Bakary Soumare". MLSsoccer.com. Retrieved 23 May 2013.
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- Bakary Soumaré – French league stats at LFP (also available in French)
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- "Bakary Soumare Will Miss the Rest of the Season: MLS Fan View". Yahoo! Eurosport. 30 September 2012. Archived from the original on 25 July 2014. Retrieved 13 January 2013.
- "Union sign central defender Bakary Soumare". Philadelphia Union. 26 June 2012. Retrieved 13 January 2013.
- "Union playing it safe as Soumare undergoes minor surgery". MLS Soccer. 27 September 2012. Retrieved 13 January 2013.
- "Philadelphia Union make it official, deal Bakary Soumare back to Chicago Fire". 23 May 2013.
- "Defender Bakary Soumare under contract with the Impact". 6 January 2015.
- "Unhappy with lack of playing time, defender Bakary Soumare asks to leave Montreal Impact". 15 July 2015.
- "Montreal Impact trade Bakary Soumare to FC Dallas in exchange for Canadian international Kyle Bekker". 16 July 2015.
- "What Ever Happened To ... Bakary Soumare". 10 February 2012.
- "Bakary Soumare sold to French club Boulogne". sbisoccer.com. 24 August 2009. Archived from the original on 9 September 2016.
- "Bakary Soumare".
- Bakary Soumaré at Soccerway
- "Bakary Soumaré". National Football Teams. Benjamin Strack-Zimmerman.