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Red Bulls include Richards in Conde offer


The Red Bulls pursuit of Chicago defender Wilman Conde has reached a new level.

According to sources within Major League Soccer, the Red Bulls have included midfielder Dane Richards in a large offer to Chicago for Conde, an offer the Fire appears to have turned down.

This word comes just four days after Conde went public with a request to be traded to the Red Bulls in order to be reunited with his long-time coach, Juan Carlos Osorio.

News of Richards’ inclusion in a trade offer for Conde comes as surprise after Red Bulls officials had spent the off-season identifying Richards along with Juan Pablo Angel and Jozy Altidore as three players the club would not trade under any circumstances.

The runner-up for MLS rookie of the year honors in 2007, Richards had been seen as a perfect right midfield option for the Fire but there is a growing belief among league observers that Chicago has no intention of trading Conde.

If not Richards, then who? If Chicago won’t accept a package including Dane Richards then the Red Bulls and Fire are unlikely to be able to complete a Conde trade. One source within the league believes that Chicago ownership has essentially put up a ‘Not For Sale’ sign on Conde, particularly with regard to the Red Bulls.

Conde is in Florida training with the Fire and has yet to do anything more than issue his public trade request on Saturday. It remains unclear whether the Colombian defender is prepared to hold out in order to facilitate a trade, or a potential transfer out of MLS.

What do you think of this development? Fire fans, would you take a package of Dane Richards, Jeff Parke or Carlos Mendes, a first-round draft pick and cash for Conde? Red Bulls fans, would you give that up for Conde? Neutral observers, do you think Chicago is crazy or smart for turning down a package incuding Richards?

Share your thoughts below and PLEASE keep it civil (looking at you Red Bulls and Fire fans).


  1. What is it with New York giving up young talented players? Gone are Tim Ward, Eddie Gaven, Ricardo Clark, Todd Dunivant etc. and for what?

  2. Conde for Guzan, 1 of the Sueno kids (preferably a Mexican-American), a draft pick, and cash (and one of the Sueno guys, a Mexican-American, if possible).. Fake-goats keep Conde. NYRB? Talk to The Fakes about giving up one of the best Latino defenders (if not players in general) in the league.

  3. How about if we put aside who’s crazy to accept what in a trade and whether Conde is better than Richards, and look at it in a different way.

    It seems like Conde and Richards belong right where they are for their respective teams. NYRB needs Richards more than they need Conde. NYRB is already going to have a problem getting service for their fab duo, trading Richards will really hurt them. I think the comments on Richards’ inability to cross the ball are exaggerated, especially when you consider it was his first year. Marvel Wynn couldn’t cross the ball to save his life, but he seems to be improving all the time.

    Conde fit in well with Chicago and really helped them. Chicago’s team, even with Blanco, is stil more about defense. While Richards might help them offensively, the loss in defense and overall effect on the team wouldn’t be worth it.

    Let sleeping dogs lie.

  4. Several Issues:
    Conde is only 25- bright future ahead of him
    Why would Chicago give him up? Who cares if he doesn’t want to be there- a job and a contract is just that- a job and a contract!
    Richards is good- but obviously Chicago thinks Conde’s better- fwiw- so do I.
    NYRB- Tampering mean anything to you???? I am sure Conde wouldn’t release a statement like that without some sort of tampering having taken place.
    If Conde decides to act like a baby when the season starts he is only hurting himself and his future as European teams will have nothing to watch or gauge him with.
    Fire hold the ticket- NOT NYRB- we have what they want, and unlike the BS that took place with the coach- they can’t manipulate this situation.

    So, if Conde wants an immediate future in soccer- he better lace up his boots-throw on his Fire jersey and apologize- or I see him pulling splinters out of his behind.

  5. I don’t understand why NY would let go of Dane Richards, a young, fast right wing who did very well in his first year to pick up Kyle Martino, an older slower “right” wing who has gotten “as good” as he’ll ever get. Why? Even if Conde’s part of the package, I’m not at all excited for this kind of deal.

  6. As much as it pains me to agree with papa bear (and it does), a 3 way deal would make sense. Relations between these two teams may have gotten to the point where they can no longer deal directly with each other. That said, I still would rather keep Richards. My gut says that we’re going to get Kyle Martino & lose Richards in this deal.

    Papa Bear – Here’s a potential olive branch. Are you a White Sox fan?

  7. like it or not RBNY fans, Richards in a deal for Conde is fair value. If Conde would have been here longer, he would have been an even more serious contender for ‘Newcomer of the year’ He is polished and ready. Richards is still ‘potential’
    If Chicago turned a deal for Richards + cash + 1 of the stiffs RBNY passes off as defenders; I have to believe it’s not looking good for RBNY.
    However, Luis Arroyave reported today that Conde was held out of practice which is usually code for “we are banging out a deal and don’t want to damage the goods”
    Maybe a 3 way deal is underway so Chicago doesn’t have to directly give anything to RBNY?

  8. Matt:

    I’m not sure I see your point. Toronto was without their best defenders also, and yet Chicago, supposedly a much better team, couldn’t beat them. This is silly, though. It’s pre-season.


    Your being a little unfair. I was just mentioning players that left NYRB and had not been replaced, who at least had the potential to do something if they were still there. Something is better than nothing, and actually, Clint Mathis made a major contribution to NYRB last year.

    Jim Brennan had a good year.

    I would take Tyrone Marshall over any defender NYRB has, and I would certainly take a defense that includes Marshall, Dunivant, and Wynn over what NYRB has.

    Certainly Toronto hasn’t earned the right to be considered better than NYRB, but I think they will be close too a .500 team this year. Without any changes, I don’t see NYRB doing much better than that. They were only one game above .500 last year. Also, I’m not sure what effect losing Johnston as manager will have on Toronto, so that could be a factor in me being wrong.

    It’s a bold prediction but we’ll just have to wait and see. I hope NYRB does well, the league needs it.

  9. Glad RBNY’s offer wasn’t taken. That’s too much for a slightly better than average player who has played 7 games in MLS. Conde is the player he is going to be. Richards has a huge upside. Glad they shot this down. JCO was crazy for even considering it. Without Richards, our Midfield consists of the ever so boring Reyna, DVDB, Dema, Stammler foursome.ZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ.

  10. I agree with you Eugene. Richards needs to stay where he is. I’m tired of the Metro/Red Bull turnover every off season. If the guy sucks fine, but we have given away too much proven talent in the past.

  11. As a Red Bulls fan I’m actually pretty angry right now. Osorio is speaking out of both sides of his mouth. We NEED Richards. We have yet to pick up an attacking midfielder or a left wing, so if we give up our right wing, who is going to get the ball to the forwards?

    So far Osorio hasn’t added much this off-season and the team is looking much the same as last year while almost all of our conference rivals have gotten stronger. At this rate, I don’t see NY doing any better than last year and I’m not sure that Osorio is going to make it to the end of the season.

    This deal is shocking and Chicago is doing NY a favor by turning it down. I see a lot of Fire fans on this board pretty satisfied with NY’s offer while NY fans here are either upset, disappointed or relieved that Chicago turned it down.

    Someone in NY’s front office should start paying attention or their going to see the fans heading for the door!

    The team needs stability. Just as Richards was getting established and the attack was getting set, Osorio makes a move to shake it up. Not smart. In addition, Richards is a fan favorite. Dealing those kinds of guys doesn’t help to build fan attachment to the team. Arena made that mistake dealing Wynne last year, who was also a fan fave.

    I’m not happy with Osorio right now. Maybe he needs to call another meeting at Stout to explain what he’s doing (or not doing…).

  12. Conde appeared in a handful of games last year and demonstrated that he was already one of the best defenders in the league. The man has high value. Some even say he’ll be shipped off to Europe by the time the ’09 season rolls around. Here in Chicagoland it’s fair to say we want a portion of his transfer fee. Who wouldn’t? Just how much cash was offered in this deal? We forked over 300k to get him in Chicago. Before he departs we need to make that back.

  13. From a Fire fan’s perspective, I would make this deal depending on the amount of cash that was offered. If it’s anywhere near the $300K transfer fee that was paid for Conde it should be a done deal.

    If they don’t make the deal, I can live with that too if Conde decides he wants to be a grown up and honor his deal.

    Maybe JCO will be dopey enough to sweeten the deal.

    Dema, Mendes, and cash…. my eye.

  14. I think it’s pretty clear Chicago has been a better team than NJ every year they’ve existed. I think the Richards plus Parke/Carlos and some draft pics is a pretty fair trade. I guess the right winger we have on trial must be impressing or I suspect deal would have been done this morning.

  15. The Fire are crazy for turning down this offer. As a Red Bulls fan, I hope has a right mid replacement for Richards because he was one of the bright midfield spots for New York last year and there were not that many.

    I hope Richards lights up the league this year for the Red Bulls!

  16. Conde did not play in today’s game against Toronto – even though nearly every single Fire defender is injured.

    Take this for what it’s worth.

  17. aristotle:

    I had assumed you had just accidentally omitted Toronto. It’s your opinion, I suppose, but with a minus 24 goal difference I think they were actually lucky to get as many points as they did. NY had a number of key injuries as well. Don’t forget, we haven’t actually seen a full season of Jozy yet. The problem is that Toronto has very little depth. Guys like Ty Marshall, Jim Brennan, and Carl Robinson hardly give Toronto an edge over NY. I don’t have any doubt that NY will finish well ahead of Toronto UNLESS Mo pulls off some signings of their trialists, some of whom could change the equation.

    You are correct that I forgot Mathis. But Quaranta? Schopp? Are you kidding? They played a combined what, 80 minutes last season? If we hadn’t just gotten rid of them, we would have to have paid other teams to take them off our hands.

    I think Colorado took a big step forward with Gomez. But one superstar does not a team make. That team is still in trouble.

    Chicago did look much better towards the end of the season. I expect a tough fight between Chicago and NY for 3rd in the conference. I wouldn’t be surprised if Chicago won out.

    We haven’t added much, just Etcheverry. Osorio has claimed all along that he’s looking at more players that he will bring in closer to the season’s start or in midseason. He did obviously acquire players midseason for the Fire. We shall see what happens.

  18. As a RBNY fan I don’t think it’s quite worth it – I’m assuming here that Dane has refined his crossing skills in the offseason. If that offer were to go through, I would have significant expectations of Conde to fill the hole it took to get him. Then what do we do about filling Dane’s shoes, which cannot be filled from a speed perspective…

  19. The Fire must be crazy to turn this down!!

    Although Richards is replaceable his value to them is alot more than a sulking south American!!

    Why would you want to keep a player who doesn’t want to play for you? he will probably start faking injuries if not traded and his stock will fall to a supplemental pick in 2010!!

    Give the fire..Richrds, draft pick and allocation cash so that we get the final piece in our puzzle..I would happy to see Mendes go too as he was the worst of our central backs last year!!

    Go Bulls!!

  20. Joamiq:

    I forgot to add Chicago in the last post. I think it was pretty clear that Chicago were a better team than NYRB in the last third of the season when they had finalized their team with Conde. They only finshed behind NYRB because they were so far behind them earlier in the season before Chicago improved greatly and NYRB began a slide. Chicago finished the season a pretty strong team.


    Come on, stinks? There are some pretty good players on that team and part of the reason I think Toronto could finish higher is not even player related. They have the best home field advantage in MLS by far. It’s almost like watching a premier league crowd. That makes a difference.

  21. Joamiq:

    I suspected some people would question Toronto being ahead of New York, but Toronto’s record was really not indicative of their play after their initial really bad startup. They really are a tough proposition at home, and I expect will be even more so this year. NYRB on the other hand seems to find no advantage in playing at home. Injuries were a nightmare for Toronto too. They were on a real tear and would not have finished last if not for injuries. I think it’s logical to expect that a full season of Ronnie O’Brien, Todd Dunivant, Tyrone Marshall, Danny Dichio, and Jeff Cunningham will make a HUGE difference. That’s a lot of talent to have lost for major chunks of the season. Then you would certainly expect Edu’s season to be an improvement, and probably Marvel Wynne will continue to improve also.

    Todd Dunivant, Marvel Wynne, Tyrone Marshall, Jim Brennan, Ronnie O’Brien, Carl Robinson, Maurice Edu, Jeff Cunningham, Danny Dichio, etc., are a team I would rather have than NYRB, even as enticing as Josie and Angel are. I also don’t think they are done by a long shot.

    I don’t know about losing “key” players, but given NY’s current roster, I think still having players like Clint Mathis, Santino Quaranta, Markus Schopp, and Joe Vide around would have been a plus. Maybe they weren’t great but what did they get to replace them?

    You don’t think Colorado took a big step forward with Gomez?

    Anyway, that’s just my take on it.

  22. A) Toronto stinks!

    B) Conde and Richards are both reasonable value for one another.

    C) Chicago only got Blanco in late July, so assuming he stays healthy they’re probably a little better than NY. Maybe.

    D) Toronto still stinks!

  23. Don’t know much about Conde, so hard for me to judge, but as a Red Bulls fan, I would be disappointed to see Richards go. He is one of the very few players outside Angel and Altidore (likely leaving soon) that consistently causes problems for teams. When RBNY moves to the new stadium and long balls sent to Richards on the wing won’t bounce 20 feet in the air off the artificial turf, he could be an even bigger threat at home.

    Aside from the value question, what does it mean if the league tries to make this happen? Will player demands start to be a bigger problem? If I was a Fire fan, I wouldn’t like the idea of the league watching a team steal my coach and a key player.

  24. aristotle: We haven’t lost or gained any key players, so if Jozy stays for the whole year, I think we’ll finish right where we did last year, 3rd in the East. Actually, given that he missed so many games last year, I figure they’ll still be duking it out for 3rd with Chicago even without him. I have no idea how you put Toronto ahead of NY, and it’s way too early to say that Colorado and LA have moved ahead of NY (though I would say there’s a good chance that LA has).

    furiq yanqui: Are you suggesting that there are no prima donnas in Europe? Really?

  25. Bone head move by the pink cows. Richards is declared one of the “untouchables” and now he’s trade bait?

    What kind of a message is being sent to Richards?

    Ives said it himself. The pink cows are “desperate” for a decent defender and Conde is “exactly” what Osorio is looking for.

    You guys deserve Osorio. Looking forward to seeing who coaches the pink cows next season after Richards leaves, and after you break the league’s GA record because Osorio did nothing while he waited for Conde to come over.

  26. “I would like to ask you how you think your team is going to do this year?”

    3rd or 4th in the east, as usual. With basically the same players, that’s how they did last year, and there’s plenty of money for two or three key signings. I don’t see how Columbus, Chicago, or Toronto have significantly improved, New England is a total mystery, and DC has made wholesale revisions to their lineup without impressing anyone in their friendlies to date.

    I do think the team will be better prepared and harder to beat this year, so a stronger finish is not impossible.

  27. the likely reason for Chicago turning this down is cash not players.Ive said quit a few times the first thing that needs to be addressed is the $300,000 transfer fee that was paid for Conde.I dont know how much Chicago paid and how much the league paid, but this could be a serious issue point in any trade.
    also, Millinarios retained some rights to future compensation on future transfers.So this could also be a problem in any cash deal with Conde.Chicago needs a larger amount to recover their expense and give compensation to Millinarios, sure its not a true transfer but could be seen as one if money changes hands for Conde.

  28. Kpugs,

    Wilman is 25. Dane is 24. To be exact, Wilman is 15 months older than Dane, not “something like three years.” Age is not a factor here.

    so Wilman has only played 10 games for the Fire in MLS … what’s the point of that? His pre-MLS experiences include stuff like this:

    I’ve seen all of Conde’s 10 games here … Please name a defender from another MLS team that you’d take over him. Eddie Robinson, who is something like 30 years old? Parkhust? Claudio Suarez, who is old enough to have been an Aztec emperor?

    I also don’t agree with your assessment that Wilman has reached his ceiling while Dane’s potential is limitless … We have discussed Dane’s limits currently, and we will see if he can overcome them. More likely, he will be Jeff Cunningham without the goals (and without the stand-up act).

    Conde will be in Europe in a year or so — if he grows up because this sort of shite definitely won’t fly there.

  29. That is a ridiculous offer. No way would give up on Richards for Conde. Especially considering our needs, Richard’s upside, the fact that history suggests Osorio has 2 years at best as coach and Conde would just leave then too. I’m sick of spoiled athletes dictating where they play (Conde, Kidd…) it’s a joke.

  30. Slightly off topic, but since so many NYRB fans are in one place, I would like to ask you how you think your team is going to do this year?

    I’m asking because at the same time that I’m thinking I can’t believe how bad NYRB is looking right now, I saw at least one NYRB fan talking like they might be in MLS Cup, or within a game or two.

    I’m not a Chicago or NYRB fan so I’m not trying to needle anyone, but doesn’t it seem like they have taken a big step backward this year? Most of the other MLS teams seem to be improving while NYRB has just lost players. If I were to do the standings prediction thing, I would put only four teams behind NYRB this season: San Jose, Columbus, Kansas City, and RSL.

    It seems like a waste to have the best scoring tandem in the league with very little to back it up. If Reyna somehow had a great year and Richards continued to improve, (assuming they aren’t dumb enough to trade him) then maybe a little higher, but I’m sticking with 10th out of 14 unless they sign some players. Try and be objective.

  31. I understand and probably agree that Rolfe would be better served at forward. However, almost all the players on trial are forwards so i think Rolfe is pretty much locked into playing a majority of the year at mid. Which would leave Richards as a reserve for most matches. which i would not have a problem with if the fire played in other compitions for depth but I think this year it doesn’t make sense, but it would if they could finish top 4 for next year.

  32. Wow… wow. I am in the camp that believes that Richards is a bit overrated – he needs to learn to at least cross or shoot, and there were stretches of the season where he was totally ineffective – but his value is still high as a rare MLS winger with pace who can create dangerous situations on the flank. I am surprised that RB is willing to trade him for a player who doesn’t want to be with his team, and I wouldn’t increase the offer, even though I think Richards for Conde straight up is a good trade for NY.

    I think Osorio should just stand pat now and see how the Conde situation plays out. If it gets close to the season’s start and it looks like he’s going to hold out, the Fire might be more desperate. If his demand to be traded was just an empty threat, then there was never much here to begin with anyway.

    Also, I have always liked Parke myself, but I’m having a really hard time understanding all of you who are writing as if Parke is significantly better than Mendes. If anything, it’s the other way around. What exactly are you people seeing in Mendes that makes him so much worse than Parke? Mendes was the standout Metro defender last year. Ives thought he should have been an all-star.

  33. IVES – “Fire fans, would you take a package of Dane Richards, Jeff Parke or Carlos Mendes, a first-round draft pick and cash for Conde? Red Bulls fans, would you give that up for Conde?”

    #1 – Yes, please.

    #2 – Rolfe on the right is good, but Rolfe or Dane Richards as an option is better. How many games did he miss last summer? Besides, Rolfe is a natural forward, AFAIK.

    #3 – Speaking of depth, Rolfe could be gone over the summer for Olympic qualifying… and don’t even get me started on Mapp’s fitness.

    #4 – Parke and Richards should both have a huge season this year.

  34. The Red Bulls are stoopid for including Richards in the deal. The Fire are even more stoopid if they turned down Richards, Parke or Mendes, and cash for a disgruntled Conde. It’s funny how anger has tampered with the Fire’s ability to reason.

  35. EDB…

    In a 3-5-2, you could put Pause and Soumarey (sp?) in d-mid, Mapp and Richards as wingers, Blanco in the middle and Rolfe and somebody else up front.

    In a 3-4-3, you could put Pause in front of the backline, Mapp and Richards on the wings, Blanco behind the strikers, and Rolfe and two others up-front.

    My point is that Rolfe doesn’t have to play mid. He’s had success as a striker. You bring in Richards and you can keep him up there.

    I like the idea of getting all your talented people on the field, and this allows for that.

    But if Rolfe is just a mid, then you are right, Richards is superfluous. But I think Rolfe is more versitile than that.

  36. This deal doesn’t make sense to me.
    Maybe NY wanted Chi to trade Conde and another player for Richards,draft pick and money.
    Otherwise I don’t see why Chicago would decline.
    At very least, they could trade Richards to another team for a defender.

    Basically, NY gives one offer. CHI says no, “we want Richards.” NY says, well if you want Richards you have to throw player X in as well.


  37. If Richards went to Chicago, he would defiently speed up the right side – and help feed Blanco in the middle. I personally think Conde is not worth the hype.

  38. Nathanhj,

    If Rofle is playing mid there would be no room for Richards. You would have Mapp, Blanco and Mapp along with pause and bakary as the d-mids. So really if Rolfe is doing the mid fielders role then they would just need a replacement for Conde or a proven keeper.

  39. This is nonsense. two years ago without any additions we had one of the best defensive unit in the league. we lost marvell to Torronto but i believe with the change of coaches Mendes and Parke can find form again. this is Mls not the Epl we dont need conde that bad to give up one of our best offensive threats,to the enemy are we crazy . we have a few new unproven players but that does not mean its a good idea to give away one of if not the best right mid in the league for a whiney mercenary . psssh

  40. I can’t believe JCO made this offer. It’s not like Conde is the only talented left-footed defender out there. Dane is going to be huge this season. Plus the team would have lost so much depth. I hated this proposed trade as an RBNY fan. Please tell me that they’re not going to start throwing in more cash and/or players…


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