Mar 19, 2013, 7:23 PM EDT
I had a feeling when I wrote this last week, begging to see Amobi Okugo in the midfield and Bakary Soumare get ANY playing time as a center back, it would fall on deaf ears. Not sure John Hackworth is an avid 700Level reader (he should be).
Well, as it turns out, the idea is nearly dead anyway.
Philly Soccer Page (a great read for Union fans) is reporting that the 27-year-old Soumare has asked to be traded and that the team will accommodate him.
“It’s definitely not a role I’m used to, and it’s not a situation I want to be in,” Soumare told the Philly Soccer Page. “I’ve requested to go elsewhere. We’re working on it, and we’ll see.”
Philly Soccer Page got a statement from the team saying they will accommodate Soumare, who is currently in Rwanda with the Mali National Team preparing for a World Cup Qualifier.
“Baky has made it clear that he would like to be traded, and we are working to make that happen,” Hackworth said Tuesday in a statement issued by the Union to the Philly Soccer Page.
Soumare played in one league game for the Union last season. And while he was technically signed under Hackworth’s regime, he was a Peter Nowak decision.
There should be plenty of takers in MLS for Soumare – especially if he’s playing as well in training as Hackworth claims he is – as nearly any team (except this one, apparently) is in the market for central defenders. So the Union should get something in return.
But just like the Freddy Adu situation – when the team said it wanted no part of him anymore – the Union have completely lost any leverage in this situation. Every team knows Soumare wants out and now know that the team will make the deal. So opening offers will be embarrassingly low.
As I said last week, it still makes no sense to me. You have a big, seasoned center back on your team, and a dynamic player in Okugo who is a natural midfielder. But you’re going to let the success of the latter push the former out of town.
The other angle is this: what happens if (when?) you need someone to fill in as a center back? Who is it?
The only other defenders on the roster are 34-year-old Chris Albright (no thanks), rookie Don Anding (who’s not even really a defender), and unproven Matt Kassel (never seen him play).
Okugo and Parke better not get hurt, or things could get dicey in the back real fast.
Follow Steve on Twitter @smoore1117.
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