Soumare Situation With Fire Yet To Be Resolved

A physical altercation with the coach has left the player benched and perhaps likely to exit the club.
Both Chicago Fire coach Denis Hamlett and defender Bakary Soumare were fined by Major League Soccer for a halftime incident between the two.

Now, details are emerging about what took place.

An alleged shoving match left Hamlett with a torn shirt and Soumare in street clothes and in the stands. Hamlett apparently interrupeted an argument Soumare was having with teammate Logan Pause, pushing Soumare. The player then grappled with the coach until the two were separated.

Soumare reported to Mali National Team camp soon after and has not featured for the Fire since. He did not suit up in the Fire's Wednesday loss to the Los Angeles Galaxy.

"He is not 100 percent committed to this team, so as a result, I'm not going to put a player on the field that's not committed to the organization and his teammates," Hamlett said to Nick Firchau of the Chicago-Sun Times. "We have to make sure he's committed to the team and the organization, and that's the starting point."

Yet Hamlett also asserted that a reconciliation of sorts had taken place between the two.

"I spoke to him (Tuesday). We've spoken and we addressed the incident, apologized to each other and we're gonna try and move forward. That's what good teams do, what professional teams do," said Hamlett.

The Fire players seemed to remain nuetral in the dispute between the All-Star and the coach.

Fellow defender C.J. Brown said, "Everybody understands Baky's situation and everybody understands Denis' situation, and no one's holding any grudges."

There are reports that the Fire may look to accept a recent offer from a French club for Soumare's services.

Kathryn Knapp,

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