Fire defender Bakary Soumare hopes to build upon his performance last season during the 2009 campaign.
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Q & A with Bakary Soumare

Q: Heading into training camp in Florida, what areas of the game did you want to improve upon personally?

A: We've got a lot of players back for the season, the same core of the team. We come back strong as a team, and I have a good season under my belt so I just want to build on that.

Q: What are some of your thoughts on how the team fared in preseason play in Bradenton?

A: I was only there for two matches, because I was with the Mali National Team before that. I was there when we played against University of Central Florida and KC. The KC game went really well, we moved the ball well, stringed some passes together, it was a good game.

Q: You mentioned you were with the National Team, as you debuted with Mali in a friendly. Talk about how the game went for you and your impressions of the team.

A: It was a good game; we won 4-0 against Angola. It was my first national team cap for Mali and it's fun to represent your country. I'm looking forward to the World Cup Qualifiers; we're looking to be a contender. I'm very happy with this performance playing the full ninety minutes. We have a great coach. It's exciting.

Q: The game was held in France, although it was played between two African nations. Any particular reason for this?

A: A lot of the players on African National Teams play club ball in France so it is easier for the players to all meet in France instead of having to travel down to Africa to play. Our team has a lot of players that play regularly in France so it's just easier.

Q: Arriving in Mexico on Sunday, what has the team been up over these past two days?

A: Fitness. All day we've been doing fitness trying to get game ready.

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