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Conde: I want to play for the Red Bulls


                                                                              Photo by ISI Photos

When Wilman Conde made the move from Colombian club Millonarios to Major League Soccer’s Chicago Fire last year, he did so in order to continue playing for Juan Carlos Osorio, a coach he respected greatly and felt could him improve as a player. It appears Conde wants to be reunited with Osorio yet again.

Conde told Kathryn Knapp of Chicagoland Soccer News that he wants to be traded to the Red Bulls. In an emailed statement to Chicagoland Soccer News, Conde wrote the following:

"As you may recall, it was through Juan Carlos Osorio that I came to MLS, and  the Chicago Fire particularly," Conde said. "That is why I want you to know that I wish to continue to work with him and rejoin him with his new team, the New York Red Bulls.

"The Chicago Fire is a great institution but my interest and desires are no longer with this team. It is a difficult situation but it is my desire to pursue my career with the New York Red Bulls starting this season."

Conde went into more detail with the Chicago Tribune’s Luis Arroyave, who spoke with Conde on Saturday.

Conde’s trade request comes as no surprise to those close to him, who have been aware of his desire to be reunited with Osorio since Osorio left the Chicago Fire to become the Red Bulls head coach in December.

Whether Chicago will let such a reunion take place is another story. Conde was arguably Chicago’s best defender last season and the Red Bulls would have to pay a significant amount to pry Conde away from the Fire. That is assuming the Fire will even listen to offers. The acrimony surrounding Osorio’s departure from Chicago could lead to the Fire to refusing to even consider dealing Conde to the Red Bulls.

Chicago general manager John Guppy issued this statement through a team spokesperson:

"We are aware of Wilman’s interest to play in New York," Guppy said. "However, Wilman is under contract with the Chicago Fire and we do expect him to perform all of his obligations in a professional manner. As always, the interests of the Chicago Fire are paramount in all player decisions."

Conde’s willingness to go public at this time could suggest that he is ready to take a hard stance on his desire to be traded to the Red Bulls. Could he leave Chicago’s training camp and hold out? It is entirely possible.

What could the Red Bulls offer Chicago? Midfielder Dema Kovalenko and Seth Stammler and defenders Kevin Goldthwaite, Jeff Parke and Carlos Mendes could all be part of a trade, as could goalkeeper Zach Thornton. I know Fire fans won’t accept anything less than Juan Pablo Angel or Jozy Altidore, but neither of those two players are going anywhere. I also doubt that Dane Richards goes anywhere.

If the Fire is willing to listen then Osorio is likely to make a strong offer because Conde is the exact type of player he has been searching for this off-season, a left-footed defender who could play left back in a 3-5-2 or left back and center back in a 4-4-2. Conde’s versatility and young age (he’s 25) make him a valuable commodity.

What do you think about Conde’s proclamation? Are you surprised? Do you think he’s out of line? Do you think Chicago should let him go? Do you think the Red Bulls should trade Dane Richards and draft picks? What about a package of Kovalenko, Magee Parke or Mendes, Thornton and next year’s No. 1?

Share your thoughts below.


  1. I want to play pro football first in canada.I am a Nigerian but i’m based in Qatar. all I need is a manager there to invite me.I’ll prove myself beyond every reasonable doubt.

  2. Hmmm this is a bit unprofessional of Conde. He signed with the team not the coach. I understand he wants to play for Osorio, but he can’t base his career on just the coach and where he ends up. I am not sure, as a Red Bull fan he can definetly improve our backline but at the same time if Osorio decided to go somewhere are we going to get stuck with a player who may not want to play to the top of his game because it is not the same coach. I am sorry I wouldn’t do the trade, we don’t need another Guevara.

  3. Hey Drew,
    First, learn to count – it was three, not four.
    Second, I gave a disclaimer for an action contrary to what I normally do. Learn what hypocrisy is and then get back to me.
    Third, as an SBI Captain, I try to be civil (though sometimes blunt) when responding to stupid comments on this blog… but sometimes the stupidity is just too great for me to stand.

  4. How is Chicago a crappy club, but New York? We’ve done better than you in every single season. We’ve actually won things. You guys haven’t won anything.

  5. chicago fans are too funny. Now that their big star defender dosen’t want to play for them anymore their going to turn around and blame New York… LIKE WERE SUPPOSE TO FEEL SORRY FOR YOU. (Maybe if your crappy club worth something, your player would actually want to play it…I think thats the big problems you need to adress in the future.

    …Not who “you think” you feel we should trade you.


  6. Chicago has leverage here? Chicago has an unhappy player that NY doesn’t need. Good luck trying to get value from us.

    All we have to say is “No” and you’re left to find a deal with any other team in the league when Conde has already stated he wants to play in NY.

    That said, I wouldn’t mind trading you Reyna and his DP slot for one year. At least that way we’ll generate another ~$200-250k of cap space.

  7. If any of you honestly think any deal not involving Dane Richards will even be considered are sadly mistaken. The Fire have all the leverage. I assume Conde would be smart enough to know that if he decides to tank the season he will never transfer any where.

  8. “I’m a NY fan, but I feel that Conde is not being a good professional here. A trade for Kovalenko, Parke/Mendes, and allocation money would be wonderful for Chicago, however.”

    Are all Red Bull fans this stupid? Do they put drugs in your starbucks coffee over there? I challenge anyone who supports a trade as stupid as this to make the argument that this constitutes fair value for the Fire.

  9. What some are failing to realize is that it is about: 1) the Fire providing the best product on the field that they can 2) maximize the economics of the team.

    You guys mention cap space, who cares since the Fire already got allocation money for JCO which will cover that.

    The bigger issue is what Conde will be worth in a year and the transfer fee that goes along with that transfer. That unused salary cap space is small peanuts compared to 2/3 of a $3,000,000 transfer fee.

    What Red Bull player has that potential to give in return? Altidore (no way he’s traded) or Dane Richards maybe has that potential; the rest of the guys on NYRB I think have limited European potential- due to age mostly.

    Given that, is RBNY going to give up the most of the future transfer fee to the Fire? If I were Conde, I would not like that deal since there would be limited economic incentive for NYRB to approve an overseas transfer (they can’t replace him for the money- similar to Twellman’s situation).

    JCO loves Conde and recognizes his value (as he has some hand in this). JCO would be willing to part with a lot to get Conde, but it may not be enough gives the dynamics of the situation.

    The best move for Conde is to ride out the first half, play for the Fire and impress the League (and other Leagues) with his professionalism, skill and passion for the game. This will bring opportunities and then the Fire can move him to a league were he will get better training than MLS (and better coaching than JCO), maybe Spain, Italy or Portugal (and then the Fire can get enough of a transfer fee to sign a comparable player). Conde should let his play leverage a transfer, not his whining.

  10. I’m all for Red Bull giving the fire compensation for the lose of conde but I don’t think they should we should give up players of value that we need for this season. Like Eric Brunner, Hunter Freeman, Seth Stammler, Dema Kovalenko, Claudia Renya, Dane Richards, Jozy Altidore, Juan Pablo Angel, Francis Doe, Jon Conway(and maybe Dave van Den Berg). I’m sure Red Bull can find something to split the difference between players, draft pick, and allocation money that will make both sides happy. but hate for Red Bull have to dismantle a key ingredient to their team like Stammler or Kovalenko just to trade for conte. It dosen’t make sense, its like covering up a hole, only to find that by trying to cover it up you only just moved it somewhere else.

  11. that’s what I was saying before Paul. I think if Conde is going to be unproductive it’s stupid to keep him, which is what Guppy seems to be doing. But a combination of the fire being pissed at JCO and the Red Bulls not having anyone the fire needs makes the most sense for the fire to trade him to someone else. Sure they will be in the same boat, but THEY may be able to use a “package deal” that RBNY can trade for Conde. Sure it may be a good or fair deal, but the fact is the fire doesn’t need a group of players, they need ONE quality player that’ just as good as Conde is and RBNY isn’t going to be able to provide that.

  12. According to Ives, “Conde’s willingness to go public at this time could suggest that he is ready to take a hard stance on his desire to be traded to the Red Bulls. Could he leave Chicago’s training camp and hold out? It is entirely possible.”

    I think conde’s mind is up and I don’t think he wants to play anywhere else in MLS or for any other coach besides Osorio.

    Although chicago has him under contract they can’t force him to play or produce.

    and to hold him to him against his will on a team he dosen’t want to be a part of “would be completely unproductive and just taking up space.”(because their hell bent on stoping New York from getting conde)(Are their scared that New York might become powerful?) I don’t think conde cares he’s still getting pay either way. One either he’ll get reunited and play for Osorio at Red Bull or Two chicago will keep him on the bench the whole season just so red bull can’t get him. Even if he sit on the bench he still takes up 149k aganist chicago’s salary space. Don’t you think that chicago would be better off if they could use that 149K towards someone else who they can actually play on the field?

  13. Realistically, wouldn’t Dema, adreaft pick & reimbursement of the transfer fee paid by Chi-cow-go to get Conde be a fair deal? Would MLS allow that or is there some obscure MLS rule that would prevent that from happening & the end result would cause LA to sign yet another DP as a result?

  14. The Fire have a large investment in Conde given the transfer fee to Millionares, the potential transfer fee to Europe. The Fire also need Conde more since they traded Jim Curtin recently. Conde would be a starter on any team in MLS at defender or holding midfield, he’s that good. I think that all the talk of the Fire having to trade Conde to RBNY is a little optomistic.

    The Fire organization has a bad taste in their mouth about JCO’s departure and his aparaent influence in this situation. There is no reason for them to help JCO and RBNY, and no reason to help Conde (he is under contract and his MLS rights are held by Chicago). The Fire will do what is best for the Fire.

    The Fire might sell Conde to a European League, threaten to slow his career down by benching him if he doesn’t fullfill his contractual obligations (Conde may decide that playing is his best option for a year)or maybe trade him to a team with an impressive coach like the Galaxy (might be a tough decision for Conde to choose between LA Galaxy and NYRB).

    Trading Conde to RBNY for anything less that an equal quality player and a big chunk of the transfer fee to Europe makes no sense as the Fire would be helping a division rival and would open themselves up to further demands from other players. It is a better business decosion to let him ride the pine and segregate him from the rest of the team.

    But whatever the Fire decide, it will be in the best interest of the Fire for success on the field, with monetary issues a secondary concern.

  15. but chances are that Conde will be unhappy with next MLS team and demand to be traded to Red Bull where he can be reunited with long time coveted coach Osorio. Thus, putting this other team in the same position as chicago’s in right now. and make virually no differents to red bull.

  16. not sure you guys realize the animosity building up between these two clubs and why fire fans would rather Conde be benched than sent to NY…which is dumb. The reality of it is New York is kind of an off balance team and this will need to be a three party deal for sure. The fire are overloaded in FWDS so we really don’t need any of yours. We should send Conde to a different club where we can use some of the midfielders and then let them take RBNY to the bank…

  17. No seriously, out of all seriousness, I think that Wilman conde would be a terrific addition to our team(you know how much we can use a guy like him a, proven lefted defender who only makes 149K a year). So I think we should do what every it takes to get him. Just as long as we don’t give up Eric Brunner, Hunter Freeman, Seth Stammler, Dema Kovalenko, Claudia Renya, Dane Richards, Jozy Altidore, Juan Pablo Angel, Francis Doe, (and maybe Dave van Den Berg, unless Osorio has found better lefted-footed midfielder which he said he was trying to do). I think we could even give up a couple of draft picks(just as long as their not 1st round or 2nd round draft picks (cause we know those are the only ones that really mean anything.) and even some allocation money(if we have it).

  18. Drew, is exactly right chicago fans are too funny. Now that their big star defender dosen’t want to play for them anymore their going to turn around and blame New York… LIKE WERE SUPPOSE TO FEEL SORRY FOR YOU. (Maybe if your crappy club worth something, your player would actually want to play it…I think thats the big problems you need to adress in the future.

    …Not who “you think” you feel we should trade you.

  19. How many forwards does reb bull really need? right now we currrently have six forwards, Jozy Altidore, Juan Pablo Angel, Francis Doe, Jerrod Laventure, Mike Magee,
    and John Wolyniec(and the rumored signing of columbian foward oscar echeverry, which will probably make seven. Arguably, Alitore and Angel are our 2 main starting fowards(we already know that both probably going to miss some time for us due to national team commitments and the looming rumors of a possible altidore transfer in midsummer). I’m sure that Francis Doe and Oscar Echeverry are more than capable substitutes who fill in at any time. But as far as Jerrod Laventure, Mike Magee,
    and John Wolyniec are concerned they seem somewhat excessive and exspendable. Mike Magee is a versatile play capable of playing in many different positions in the midfield as well as foward but due to injury mike magee is out of touch with the currently team nobody’s really sure how his talents are going to gel with current team right now(don’t get me wrong I still think he’s a good player and I’m sure he a brighter future a head of him in MLS(he’s only like 24) but he dosen’t seem like a pressing need for Red Bull right now. And with all do respect to john Wolyniec and his past contributions he’s made to the team over the years but don’t “old woly” is going to cut it anymore with new dept and talent we have now on the roster I think he’s going to get literally blown out of the water. and Jerrod Laventure was drafted as a developmental player 2 years. He seems like the kinda of guys you just keep beacuse he’s young and he’s willing to sit on the bench and take a low salary(what did make like 13K last year) and play in revserve games.

  20. This posting is one of the most hilariously hypocritical I’ve ever read –

    “I tend to stay out of the insult barrage on this blog, aside from the occasional late night anti-DC rant, but…

    You Fire fans make me LAUGH. I sympathize with you, because this is an unfair situation, but your overblown estimations of your team and your underestimations of everyone else are just hilarious. You’re doing your team no favors as far as the intelligence of its supporters is concerned.

    DC Fan: You’re a flaming idiot, don’t ever speak again. DC’s players were not under contract, so they owed them nothing and were taking no cap hit, hence they could do whatever they wanted. Not so with Conde.

    furia yanqui: Conde came to MLS for Osorio, not for your pathetic club. Get over yourself.

    papa bear: The best defender in the league! Too funny.”

    Posted by: Joamiq | February 17, 2008 at 03:04 AM

    Just accept that you do in fact insult others and don’t condescend us w/your holier than thou “I tend to stay out of the insult barrage…”. You can’t make that statement and then rip 4 people. It makes you look like a d-bag.

  21. As for defenders like parke and mendes I can see them eventually getting fazed out. Judging from preseaon formations,It seems like Osorio is moving to a 3-5-2 formation which means which means he’s only going to play 3 defenders. I think Stammler, Brunner, and hunter freeman I probably our best options right now for Defenders. Unless Osorio plans in sign a left-footed defender (since he has a thing with left footed players playing the left side). but then again if we do get conde, maybe he’ll play the left side. but as far as im concerned defenders like Kevin Goldthwaite, chris leitch, carlos mendes, and jeff parke are probably going to be sidelined as subs and deemed so what exspendiable to the club.

    Reyna Kovalenko

    ??stammler/conde Brunner Freeman

  22. Anyone thinking that Conde could be traded for Altidore and a no 1 pick (which we don’t even have, you morons) . . . is automatically an idiot.

    the end.

  23. I don’t dema kovelenko is a mediocore ethier i just I heard his recent play in preseason wasn’t up to par and reb bull was having salary issues espeially with the new contract signing of seth stammler guartineeing 105K(which is about 70K more than last year). I heard Red Bull was going to have sign him to a lower salary personally don’t want to see dema go and I think if red bull played him and renya in or trade him to another team like… real salt lake or something like that. I the defensive midfield they’d probably have one of the best defensive midfields in MLS.


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