HAMBURG, GERMANY - MARCH 12: Ionut Rada and Bakary Soumare of Karlsruher look dejected at the end ofthe second Bundesliga match between St. Pauli and Karlsruher SC at the Millerntor stadium on March 12, 2012 in Hamburg, Germany. (Photo by Stuart Franklin/Bongarts/Getty Images)
The Philadelphia Union and Vancouver Whitecaps officially announced a trade that brought Bakary Soumare back to Major League Soccer.
Vancouver sent a second rounder SuperDraft pick in 2013 to Philadelphia in exchange for allocation money and the Union's 2013 first round SuperDraft selection. The two teams also exchanged allocation order spots, which gave the Union the first overall position and moved the Whitecaps back to the twelfth spot.
"There were a number of factors involved in this trade, including our current and future needs, the players available through allocation ranking, as well as the strength of next year's MLS SuperDraft," said Whitecaps FC head coach Martin Rennie. "In the end, we are very pleased with the assets we've acquired, as allocation money is an important asset in our league, and we have seen the value that a first-round pick can bring in either a quality player or something that can be turned into assets down the road."
Bakary Soumare, formally of the Chicago Fire in MLS, was signed by the Union after they completed the trade with Vancouver. Soumare was a nominee and finalist for MLS Defender of the Year in 2008 and will be available for this weekend's game against the Houston Dynamo, but not in any US Open Cup games.
The 26-year-old Malian international - he has a United States green card as well - left the Fire in 2009 for France, where Soumare joined US Boulogne for a fee reported to be in the region of 1.5 million euros. Soumare spent last year on loan with 2. Bundesliga (the German second division) club Karlsruher SC.
Soumare will be expected to replace converted midfielder Amobi Okugo in central defense. Okugo, a former first round SuperDraft selection, was pushed in a center back role after the trading of Califf and an injury to fellow central defensive convert Sheanon Williams.