Chicago Fire's Bakary Soumare explains ejection for confronting New England Revolution trainer
Chicago Fire defender Bakary Soumare waded through a crowd of team personnel and an official, making his way toward New England trainer Evan Allen after the whistle sounded in the Fire's 2-0 loss to New England.
Soumare said the back-and-forth between the two began about 10 minutes earlier, when the trainer tended to New England midfielder Kelyn Rowe, who was down on the field after the Fire's Daniel Paladini struck his face.
Chicago manager Frank Klopas was dismissed for dissent following that play, and Soumare also took exception to what he alleged was time-wasting by the Revolution trainer.
“I basically said to the trainer, 'Come on, there's only five minutes left, can you get him off the field?” Soumare told MLSsoccer.com by phone. “He asked me to shut the [expletive] up, basically … [After the game] I said, 'That's not right, you can't run on the field and waste time and tell me to shut the [expletive] up. That's wrong.'”
During the postgame confrontation, New England forward Saer Sene, a friend of Soumare's, ran over to grab the Chicago defender and pull him away from the situation. There seemed to be no animosity between the two players, but they were both red-carded.
“I have no idea why he was red-carded,” Soumare said. “He's a really good friend of mine and he came by me just to start a conversation.”
That call wasn't the only one that surprised Soumare, although he gave the officiating crew some leeway on the other.
In the 54th minute, New England forward Juan Agudelo played a heel-flick over Fire goalkeeper Sean Johnson, and Soumare's sliding clearance off the goal line wasn't enough to prevent the Revolution's eventual game-winner. The referee ruled the play a goal, but Soumare didn't agree.
“He probably had a better angle than I did on it,” Soumare said. “In my opinion, if it went in, there's no way I would have been to pull it out of the goal like that.”
In the process, the Fire missed an opportunity to climb closer to a playoff berth and dropped behind New England to seventh in the Eastern Conference. Chicago play Kansas City on Friday, when right back Jalil Anibaba will have to slide into the center back position to take Soumare's place as he sits out the automatic one-game suspension.
“This was a massive game for us,” Soumare said. “We played well enough to put ourselves in a position where we were climbing the ladder, so today was definitely a step back for us. I thought there was room for us to gain at least one point, so it was very disappointing overall.”
Anthony Zilis covers the Chicago Fire for MLSsoccer.com.