MONTREAL – The Montreal Impact announced Tuesday that Malian central defender Bakary Soumare (@BakySoumare – pronunciation: Sou-ma-rey) has signed with the club, after being selected with the first overall pick in the second stage of the 2014 MLS Re-Entry Draft on December 18. As per MLS policy, details of the deal were not disclosed.
Soumare, 29, from Mali, is a seven year MLS veteran, having played 115 games, 106 as starter, and 9,495 minutes of play.
“We are very pleased to have concluded a deal with Bakary,” said Impact head coach and director of player personnel Frank Klopas. “He is a player that has a lot of experience both in MLS and internationally. He will be another good addition that will help our group.”
He kicked off his professional career with the Chicago Fire in 2007, after being drafted as the second overall pick in the 2007 MLS SuperDraft.
In 2008, in his second season in MLS, he was nominated for the MLS Defender of the Year award and was named to the MLS Best XI. The following year, he was also selected to the MLS All-Star team.
In August 2009, he transferred to French club US Boulogne, where he played more than 70 championship and France Cup games in three seasons in Ligue 1 and Ligue 2.
He came back to MLS in 2012 and saw limited playing time with Philadelphia. Following a trade in May 2013, Soumare returned to Chicago. He played 48 games, 47 as starter, for more than 4,000 minutes in his last two seasons with the Fire.
At the international level, Soumare has been capped 13 times by Mali since 2008, playing World Cup qualifying matches as well as matches in the African Cup of Nations.
Weight: 190 lbs.
Born: November 9, 1985, Bamako, Mali
Last club: Chicago Fire