While FC Dallas is off celebrating their Western Conference semifinal win over the Seattle Sounders last night, there is a bit of roster news to discuss. Defender Bakary Soumare has announced on his Instgram feed that he will retire at the end of the season.
30. When the birthday cards began arriving in my mailbox a few days ago, I stared at the number, incredulously. My 20s — where had they gone? Time is passing too quickly. Until this week, birthdays for me were nearly always a time for celebrating the moment; rarely were they marked by reflection, much less consideration of the future. Today is different. As I turn 30 today, I wanted to take this opportunity to officially announce my retirement from soccer at the end of this season. Recent health setbacks have made this a necessity. But while I make the decision with conviction, it is one that has sparked a great deal of personal and professional reflection along with enthusiasm for what lies ahead. Soccer — football to some of you — has provided me with an abundance of good fortune and riches, far behind what any child born in Mali, West Africa in 1985 could have imagined. From the first days that I arrived in New York City as a child with my adoptive family, to an island that had barely enough land for soccer fields, I received unconditional support and guidance from my family and coaches. In particular, Dave Masur and John Diffley at St. Johns University played significant roles in my athletic development as my dream of playing professional soccer matured into a reality. Soccer has carried me far beyond the tiny village of Soueina where I was born. And for nearly my entire adult life, the game has provided me with a wealth of privileges — traveling the world, representing my country, performing before amazing crowds of fans and foreign dignitaries, all while earning a very generous living — but none greater than meeting the scores of people along the way who inspired and befriended me. As I reflect on my career, I am overwhelmed by memories that I will cherish forever: hearing my name called at the 2007 MLS draft; signing with French Ligue 1, the very league I grew up watching on television as a child; feeling butterflies while singing Mali’s national anthem during World Cup qualifiers; playing for Bundesliga-side Karlsruhe and their magnificent fans; the contagious spirit of Chicago’s Section 8 members...
Soumare came over to Dallas in a midseason trade with the Montreal Impact for midfielder Kyle Bekker. Since his arrival in Frisco he has been dealing with concussion issues that have kept him out of a Dallas lineup.
It is unfortunate that Soumare is having to do this but this certainly makes it easier for FCD as the offseason approaches in a few weeks. We here at Big D Soccer wish Soumare the best in his post-soccer career.