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The Mali international returns to the club where he began his pro career after failing to make himself first choice in Philadelphia

Mali national team defender Bakary Soumare is on his way back to the Windy City after the Chicago Fire agreed a deal for the 27-year-old with the Philadelphia Union, sending Chicago's 2014 second round SuperDraft pick and allocation money the other way.

Soumare was drafted second overall by the Fire in the 2007 MLS SuperDraft and impressed in three seasons with the club, earning Best XI and All-Star honors in 2008 and 2009, respectively. His play earned him a move to Europe with French side Boulogne, but injuries and an unsuccessful loan to Karlsruher brought him back to MLS with the Philadelphia Union in 2012.

Soumare made a single appearance in an injury-hit first season at PPL Park, and had failed to make himself first choice this season. He made just four appearances in his time as a Union player. Ironically, three of them came against the Fire.

“We’re excited to have Bakary rejoin the Chicago Fire,” said President of Andell Sports Group Javier Leon in a statement on the club's website. “Bakary is a strong, dependable defender with experience in MLS and abroad. His addition to our roster will help us challenge both in MLS and for the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup. We know that Bakary considers Chicago to be his home and we’re happy to welcome him back to the Fire family.”

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