Bakary Soumare hasn't had much of an impact since coming to the Philadelphia Union last summer. And now it looks like if he's ever to make the kind of waves that were expected of him, they'll come in a different team's colors.
As first reported on The Philly Soccer Page and confirmed by MLSsoccer.com, the big Malian defender has asked the club to trade him, and the Union have agreed to do so.
“Baky has made it clear that he would like to be traded, and we are working to make that happen,” head coach John Hackworth said to Philly Soccer Page on Tuesday. A spokesman for the club said they had no further comment.
Soumare, who has battled injuries the last several years but is now fit, has found it impossible to break into the Union lineup ahead of newly acquired Jeff Parke or holdover Amobi Okugo, who looks to have made a permanent switch to central defense after starting his career in the central midfield.
“I thought it was going to be my job to lose, but I feel wasn’t given a fair chance,” Soumare said to PSP. “Not to take away from Amobi. I think he’s one of the best in the league at this position. If I lost my job, that would be one thing. To not be given the job at all …”
The lack of first team minutes hasn't sat well with Soumare, who is looking to play a key role in Mali's World Cup qualifying campaign. He's been capped 13 times for his country, but has just one official appearance for the Union since signing on last season.
“Even though I’ve played for eight years, I’m 27. I’m in the prime of my career. The last thing I want to do is watch from the sidelines,” he told PSP.