Red Bulls update: Cepero on loan, Conde still unhappy and the attacking midfielder position

Good morning Red Bulls fans. You don’t have an MLS game to look forward to this weekend but that doesn’t mean you can’t have some news to tide you over this morning. The Red Bulls are in Carolina to take on the RailHawks in their final pre-season tune-up before the April 5 opener against Columbus.

While you wait for tonight’s match to take place, and yes, it is being aired on tonight, here are some news, notes and observations on the Red Bulls.

Cepero going on loan


If you were wondering why the Red Bulls signed two goalkeepers to developmental contracts, wonder no more. Danny Cepero is set to leave the Red Bulls and go on loan to the Harrisburg City Islanders of the USL second division. The Red Bulls feel Cepero has a bright future and wants him to get some games under his belt, which would have been difficult this year with Jon Conway and Zach Thornton in front of him.

The one drawback about the arrangement is the fact that the Red Bulls have to keep him signed to a developmental roster to keep the loan arrangement in tact, which means that is one less developmental slot the team has. Caleb Patterson-Sewell will serve as the club’s third-string goalkeeper.

Conde still isn’t happy in Chicago


Chicago Fire defender Wilman Conde has not given up on his desire to join Juan Carlos Osorio with the Red Bulls. According to the Chicago Tribune’s Luis Arroyave, Conde is nearing clubhouse cancer territory by continuing to make an issue of his trade demands.

When Conde first expressed his desire to leave Fire and join the Red Bulls it was unclear just what lengths he would go to in order to have his wish granted. Now it appears he is ready to continue letting his unhappy be known.

So why does the Fire seem intent on ignoring Conde’s request? According to sources in Chicago, it boils down to Chicago Fire owner Andrew Hauptman making it clear that the team will not, under any circumstances, deal Conde to the Red Bulls.

Chicago is so intent on not letting a Conde-Osorio reunion happen that the Fire actually balked at a trade it was working on with another MLS team that would have sent Conde packing in exchange for an established striker. According to sources, Chicago feared that the Fire’s trade partner would then turn around and deal Conde to the Red Bulls so the trade fell apart.

On Tuesday, Osorio told SBI that since it has become clear that a trade for Conde isn’t going to happen, the Red Bulls have moved on to other options. Just what Conde will do when the Red Bulls sign another option remains to be seen, but it wouldn’t shock me if Conde never plays another game for the Fire.

Attacking midfielder not a priority

If you have noticed that Osorio has not said a thing about the club going after an attacking midfielder in the transfer market, it is because the club believes the combination of Claudio Reyna and Mike Magee can handle those duties, especially if the club fills its needs on the left wing and in defensive midfield.

"We believe they have done well in pre-season and if we can sign the players we are looking at, they will be in an even better position to succeed," Osorio said.

The logic boils down to Osorio believing that if he can secure a tough, ball-winning defensive midfielder who can pass well, score a few goals and provide an effective link between the defense and the attack to play alongside Seth Stammler and behind Reyna, that Reyna or Magee will have the freedom to create and distribute effectively.

Will the system work? Reyna and Magee have done well to deliver passes in the pre-season but have actually been victims of poor finishing from the team’s forwards, including Juan Pablo Angel.

Current and former Red Bulls/Metros lead Puerto Rico

Former MetroStar and USL Puerto Rico Islander midfielder Petter Villegas netted the game-winner to lift Puerto Rico to a World Cup qualifying victory against the Dominican Republic. Newly-signed Red Bulls forward Chris Megaloudis played 90 minutes for Puerto Rico.

If you’re asking yourself, "Hey, isn’t Villegas Ecuadorian?", you are right. Villegas was naturalized after playing for the Islanders.

Another one-time MetroStar, recent Toronto FC signing Marco Velez, also started for Puerto Rico.

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62 Responses to Red Bulls update: Cepero on loan, Conde still unhappy and the attacking midfielder position

  1. “The logic boils down to Osorio believing that if he can secure a tough, ball-winning defensive midfielder to play alongside Seth Stammler and behind Reyna, that Reyna or Magee will have the freedom to create and distribute effectively.”

    Ummm . . . Dema Kovalenko?!?!

  2. dan says:

    doesn’t it seem petty that the Fire would almost rather self-implode with this conde situation, than swallow your in-the-way-pride, and see if you can get some player who would actually enjoy being in chicago…

    if the Fire isn’t careful, they will look back at this situation in a year (or 3 months from now!) and wish they would have handled things differently.

  3. KingSnake says:

    Re: Seattle team names … it’s perfect:

    Seattle Slew

  4. THE Nick says:

    I kind of feel bad for Conde. A year of his career is being robbed because those assholes in Chicago won’t let him play where he wants to play. If I wasn’t happy here at my job, and I wanted to go work for another company, and my current company wouldn’t let me, I’d go postal. (jk)

    Chicago are cutting their nose off to spite their face.

    Conde should just go AWOL and move to a nice island somewhere and enjoy his salary for a year while Chicago continues to react to NY like 2 year olds…

  5. EDB says:

    According to the Suntimes article Conde has said he will be acting professional and playing.

    As to the people that make a job analogy, think of it as signing a conctrct for a high end job with an anti compete clause , basically where it states if you leave this job you can’t have the same position in the same industry for x years..

    Conde could always go and play indoor somewhere if things are that bad for him, or maybe a beach soccer league..

  6. brett says:

    Conde has to learn to be a professional athlete and not some little toddler throwing a tantrum in the toy store b/c the parents wont give him what he wants…

    fact is, he is still under contract… it is up to the fire to decide how to deal with it…

    personally i said from the begining to trade him to the redbulls for Richards but nooooooooo…. now we will have to stick Rolfe out wide right b/c of it… :-/

    either way, TightShirt was able to voice his distaste for how the Revs handled him and PNE, and now is able to look forward and move on to the season at hand.. Conde had the option to voice his opinion then play hard for his last contract season and then move to the redbulls and possibly make a lil’ bit more money… but now he’ll probably ride the bench… and it all boils down to HE’S UNDER CONTRACT… the fire will lose him at the end of this season for nothing in return…

  7. brett says:

    THE Nick- “If I wasn’t happy here at my job, and I wanted to go work for another company, and my current company wouldn’t let me, I’d go postal. (jk)”

    the difference here is that you are not under contract with your job… you can quit at any time and they can fire you without having to worry about paying you…

    where if the fire released Conde now, they’d still have to pay him b/c he’s under contract for another year… big difference…

  8. Moneyball says:

    I can somewhat understand not wanting to trade Conde directly to the Red Bulls, but pulling out of a deal on SPECULATION that another team, a third party to this petty spat, might turn around and deal him to New York? That shows that the priorities of Chicago’s front office are about as straight as Rosie O’Donnell.

    Remove all off-field occurrences and context from the situation: if your team benefits by trading Conde – the player – to a third team for another player/allocation/draft picks or whatever it was, then you pull the trigger. Your number one priority should be to make your team better. It’s not as if it’s a 2-team competition between the Fire and Red Bulls…there are several other teams that Chicago will need to improve in order to have serious championship aspirations. Preventing themselves from improving ONLY TO prevent New York from improving (or possibly just getting their way, regardless of whether their team is improved or not) seems irresponsible for an organization that sells itself on the basis that it strives to win.

    If you are a Fire fan, tell me this – would you rather improve your chances of hoisting the MLS Cup and improve your team, or simply live with the satisfaction that you stood up to some perceived bully? That foolish pride and $3.69 will get you a Grande Mocha Frappuccino at Starbucks.

  9. jerry says:

    I think Chicago is gonna bite the bullet on this one even tho Conde might act professional on the field Chicago is going to suffer by not doing enough to unload an unhappy player and going after a player that is needed and wont mind playing in Chi as for NYRB I personally wouldnt mind if Conde rides the bench all season it just means we have a great CB to acquire in 09 on a free transfer

  10. VictorM says:

    Dear lord, Reyna and Magee? They have done well against minor league teams!

    Reyna and Magee are good players if Red Bulls were a USL team and their goal as 5,000 per game! Neither of them is capable of the kind of creative midfield that soccer fans are willing to pay for.

  11. brett says:

    Moneyball- no i wouldnt hold onto him if we could trade for someone who’d improve our odds of winning the cup/league…. hence y i originally wanted the trade for Richards when Ives posted the rumor… b/c if we get something quality in return i dont see it as giving into “some perceived bully”…

    in all honesty i think the original reason for holding onto conde is they say it more benefitial to use him in the line-up rather then trading him, but if the Fire knew he’d still be throwing a hissy-fit im sure they’d think twice… at least i hope they would :-/

  12. KingSnake says:

    Ignored in all this is why Red Bull supporters think Chicago should bend over & smile every time Red Bulls want one of Chicago’s people?

  13. Fact is –

    + Pulling out of a trade out of speculation is ridiculous

    + Not wanting to trade directly with RBNY out of hate is exactly what the league needs – more rivalries. Keeps things interesting

    + Why do people see Condes situation any different than Twellmans? they both want out, but signed contracts to stay – they should honor these contracts. Though, as an owner, I would try to do my best to move either player in the right direction IF it a) improves my squad and b) isnt a reactive action.

    Conde can cry all he wants – he will never be allowed to sign with Osorio. And if he plays badly, he will only hurt himself.

  14. MasterShake says:

    wow Chicago, cry me a river….little pansies.

  15. Nutmegger says:

    That tough-tackling D-mid that Osorio is talking about sounds to me an awful lot like Dema… NM

  16. Gerald says:

    If Chicago doesn’t want to make deal with NY that’s fine as that is there right. However to not make a deal because the other team “might” trade him to NY is just silly.

  17. Ben says:

    “If you are a Fire fan, tell me this – would you rather improve your chances of hoisting the MLS Cup and improve your team, or simply live with the satisfaction that you stood up to some perceived bully? That foolish pride and $3.69 will get you a Grande Mocha Frappuccino at Starbucks.”

    As a Fire fan, I’d rather improve the Fire than ever think about the Metrostars. It’s not that easy though. The center of defense is where the Fire are thin. Conde can cover tons of ground in the middle either as a DM or Central Defender. As a player, we value Conde extremely highly, and that makes improving the Fire by trading him away tough. This alledged trade involved an attaker (which of course we could improve our strikers) but that wouldn’t fill the hole that Conde would leave.

    As for the bully question. I’m fine with the Owner taking charge, and even to a certain extent, risking cutting off its nose a little. I have little doubt that this situation escalated due to the incompetence of the GM – Guppy. You guys will remember him for MetroPlayoffFever or whatever. All he’s done is F. things up since he got here. Now the owner is in a position where he has to correct Guppy’s mistakes.

    JCO thinks that NJ is a bigger club so he wanted to go there. Guppy let him. Now JCO thinks he can just get Conde there while offering up not equal value. F that! Chicago does have to take pride and not allow themselves to be treated as a smaller club, especially since they aren’t. What makes a big club anyway? According to JCO it’s winning nothing, ever, I guess?

  18. El Rey says:

    You can’t blame the FIRE for not allowing an unhappy player to leave just because he is unhappy, especially a player of his caliber. New England didn’t do it and neither should the Fire. This would set a bad precedent and give players the impression that they can just throw a tantrum and get what they want. I can’t blame the Fire for not wanting to trade a good player to a conference opponent if it’s going to make them stronger. I’m sure there are plenty of other teams, including RBNY, who would do the same.

    If anyone is cutting their nose to spite their face it’s Conde. He’s going about this the wrong way. His continued whining is going to hurt his stock. No team is going to want a whining cancerous player who spent a year on the bench on their roster and if they do they won’t pay him what he wants. He needs to follow Tshirts lead by saying the right things and playing his butt off in order to get a better offer when his contract expires.

    And lets remember one thing. He signed to play for the Fire not for what ever team JCO coaches. And RB fans need to keep one thing in mind. What is he going to do when JCO leaves for Europe? It’s no secret that JCO has his sights trained on coaching in Europe and not MLS. Do you think Conde is going to wants to play in NY after JCO leaves because it’s a great city? He’ll be pulling the same stunt there as he is here.

  19. Gilly73 says:

    Ok, I’m a FIRE fan here and I want to share my thoughts on the Conde situation. I am not upset that Conde wants to join Osorio (I figured that was coming), but I am upset that if we dealt him to NYRB we lose an outstanding player. I also do not want to help out any other team in MLS by trading him away. Even if this means he sits all season I will feel better about the situation then giving a very good player to another MLS team who is going to compete against us.

    So with him or without him the FIRE are going to hoist the MLS Cup this year and Conde will either play a big part of that or he will sit and hurt his future potential.

    It is not a pride issue, or a hating on NY issue and it is a responsible move because we will not be helping any other MLS team improve. However if the right deal is out there I’m sure the FIRE would take it as a clubhouse cancer will not be tolerated in Chicago, believe me.

  20. Nutmegger – great minds think alike – look at the first comment.

  21. Jay-Z says:

    Amen, KingSnake. What part of “contractual obligation” do the Red Bull fans not understand?

    A year ago, both the team and the player signed a contract they thought was fair. Nobody forced Conde to sign the contract he did. At this point Conde can honor his contract, or he can sit. It’s unfortunate that it’s not his ideal situation, but few people get everything they want out of a job. And sometimes, people regret the decisions they made, but that doesn’t mean they get to excuse themselves from their commitments.

  22. Joamiq says:

    “you are not under contract with your job”

    Uh, some of us are, in fact, under contract.

  23. jerry says:

    ok well what makes chicago such a big club? as far as im concerned that havent had any silverware either?

  24. El Rey says:

    I beg to Differ there Jerry. 1 MLS Cup and 4 open cups and I believe we hoisted one of those cups on the Metros home field after we beat you. You either can count or have selective memory.

  25. Ben says:

    The closest thing to a big club in MLS is either LA or DC. Houston is great right now, but that’s it. I’m not claiming Chicago is one, but I am definatively saying that until NJ wins something, they surely aren’t either.

  26. brett says:

    Joamiq- most jobs you are hired, and if the boss deems it you can be fired… or you can quit (2 weeks or not)… sure there are some who are, but most jobs arent..

  27. jerry says:

    ok ur right my bad i just checked the stats

  28. brett says:

    jerry- 1MLS cup, 1 SS, 4 USOC (just saying the hardware won)

    the fire arent amoung the big clubs, but we are highly decorated…

  29. brett says:

    well my bad for reposting what someone already pointed out jerry…

  30. Joamiq says:

    Red Bull fans have no trouble understanding the concept of contractual obligations. We’re not saying that we’re entitled to Conde. Nor are we saying that Chicago should give us any players we want. But don’t forget that the fundamental issue is not that we want Conde – it’s that Conde wants to leave.

    As silly as I think it is for Chicago not to trade him to ANYONE, they’re obviously well within their rights to do so, and maybe he’ll play for them, and play well. But it’s rare that a player who is unhappy with his situation plays well. It’s obviously Chicago’s decision to make, and RB has obviously prepared to move to from the situation. If Chicago decides to roll the dice and keep him, well, good luck.

    I don’t get why Chicago fans get pissed at RB fans over this. Yeah, it sucks for you, but what did we do? Are we doing something wrong by saying we’d love to have Conde? It’s not like we’re the ones who convinced him to try to leave Chicago.

  31. Sandro says:

    Conde – Shut up and play. You got a contract to play for Fire not for Osorio. Quit your whining and as a Red Bull fan I wouldn’t want you on my team. Why if Osorio gets fire or leaves the Red Bull, you will want to be traded or be let go. be professional, shut and play soccer.

  32. Coach says:

    + I wouldn’t touch Conde with a 35 foot pole. His loyalty lies with a coach, and a largely unproven one at that.

    + Dema was a heart and soul player and tough as nails but was not a great d-mid

    + MLS ought to start acting like the rest of the civilized soccer world and allow TEAMS to sign and transfer players. Then, the 2 enemy clubs can simply agree to a dollar amount and be done with this situation.

  33. Joamiq says:

    brett: If you are under contract, you can usually still be fired or quit.

  34. brett says:

    Sandro- O.o are you a fire fan hidden behind a redbulls jersey?? 😀

    Joamiq- it seems that most people who insult the FO or fire fans about this topic are redbull fans… therefore that will explain the attacks on redbull fans…

    If Conde is smart he’ll keep his mouth quiet, play hard and then when he moves to Redbulls next season the league will probably increase his salary… if he doesnt play he’ll ride the bench and lose a season of quality play time… a season off can severely hurt ones playing ability and may take a season just to get back on form…

  35. brett says:

    Joamiq- hmmm well my arguement has gone to sh*t now O.o …. either way the Fire still have rights… if the fire release him, do they still have the rights over him or is it negated upon releasing??

  36. inkedAG says:

    Reyna and/or Magee handling the Attacking mid duties???? And Osorio is fine with it??

  37. brett says:

    inkedAG- perhaps Osorio is trying to keep on par with other coaches that failed in NJ 😀 OH YAHTZEE!!!

  38. El Rey says:

    Brett, No worries, I did omit the SS after all.

  39. rkupp says:

    Conde is worth more than three Dane Richards. I don’t see where NJ has anything (other than Altidore or JPA) worthwhile to offer.

    And if Conde played out his contract with Chicago, they’d still maintain his MLS rights.

    Chicago already did more than they should have had to by letting Osorio go. RB should have shown some gratitude by backing them up on Conde, instead of fueling the fire.

  40. Joe D. says:

    There are no big clubs in MLS. The league structure will not allow a team to gain a huge talent/financial advantage over the others.

  41. Miguel says:

    It’s not just Reyna and Magee that JCO intends on using as Creative Midfielders. I read on Metrofanatics media day coverage that JCO intends on moving VDB to a more central position to take advantage of his passing ability. It’s ridiculous if you ask me, but not as ridiculous as the Chicago Fire management. That they shot down a trade with another team just on their feeling that Conde would then be traded to RBNY. Ha, ha! What idiots! Their going to need lots of chemotherapy once the cancer named Conde starts spreading.

  42. brett says:

    rkupp- while Richards is not as talented and as quality of a player as Conde, he is one of the better right mids in the league and we are desperately short at that spot

    Joe D- we are refering to history in general when it comes to big club… LA and DCU are classified as a big club because they have been largely successfull consistantly over the leagues existance…

  43. Noel says:

    Funny how rumors of this proven striker for Conde never hit Bigsoccer or MLSunderground. The Fact is even if Conde doesn’t play a single game this year, The Fire will still be a better team then Redbull. If Conde is unhappy he sould be mad at JCO for breaking his word!

  44. Chris says:

    Well can’t blame the Fire management on not pulling off the trade of Conde for a proven striker on another team, especially since I don’t know who this “proven striker” is. Maybe they were not that high on the striker to begin with, or maybe that stiker would cause salary cap problems for them, etc. There’s not enough known about this potential trade to really make a judgement on the Fire’s decision.

    And I’m a Red Bulls fan btw. Just trying to keep things in perspective.

  45. brett says:

    noel: “If Conde is unhappy he sould be mad at JCO for breaking his word!”

    that was one thing i posted on Red Card… in all honesty it was JCO who abandoned Conde…

  46. Juke Box Hero says:

    I don’t blame Chicago for not trading Conde. Once the games start, he will play hard and is very capable of being the best defender in MLS – which he looked like late last season. Red Bull fans – if you had Conde, would you trade him because he said he wanted to play for LA?

    More importantly for Red Bull fans, Reyna or MaGee as attacking midfielder?! Ouch. Rank either of them with the best attacking mids on other teams: DeRo, Blanco, Beckham, Schelleto, Gallardo, C.Gomez, Toja, Marinelli, Kljestan, R.Obrien.

    If you ask me, that’s at least 10 teams with a better attacking presence coming out of mifield. Only Toronto, NE & RSL are equal or worse off there, but NE has Ralston & new guy Castro, & RSL has Any Williams & new guy Morales.

  47. nicholas s. says:

    What are the chances of Conde ripping off his Fire kit at Giants Stadium to reveal a Reb Bull shirt and and thumping one in his own goal before he’s subbed?

    I would pay large amounts of money to see this happen.

  48. Gilly73 says:

    nicholas s. – now that’s funny….too bad Conde would never suit up again for any team if he did that.

  49. brett says:

    not nearly as funny as how unhappy he really will be upon arival back in chicago…

  50. Gilly73 says:

    IVES – its funny how all you have to do is create a topic about JCO or Conde and the fireworks begin on your blog.

    Keep up the good work as NYRB are quickly moving up the most hated list for FIRE fans, now if you could just fill your stadium up so there would only be 100 tickets for Sec 8 on May 25th you might surpass our new found hatred for TFC.

  51. brett says:

    Gilly73- lol, fill up Giant Stadium?? wouldnt that require fans??

  52. aristotle says:

    I’d like to make a few very wise comments. :)

    Ives: Please change the name of this column from Red Bulls Update to NYRB and Chicago Fire fans free for all. Maybe we could have an England style soccer riot when the two teams meet for the first time this season. Winners get Conde.

    You could see the Claudio Reyna as attacking/creative midfielder thing coming for a while. I’m surprised so many NYRB fans are against this. I understand if you think he is going to play on a similar level to last year, but if he is going to do that, why do you want him on the team at all? I think him playing attacking/creative mid-fielder makes a lot more sense than him being a defensive mid-fielder. He’s to old and defensive mid is too demanding for him. Furthermore, CR’s natural position was always creative mid. Even if he is only able to play at half the level he did when he was creative mid on the USMNT in his glory days, he would still be one of the better creative/attacking mids in this league. This is the most difficult position to fill in the league. How many great attacking/creative mids are there in MLS? Let’s see there’s Beckham, Gomez, DeRosario, and then there’s……uh.., I guess I can’t think of anymore. Isn’t that why we’re so anxious to have the whiny and petulant Guevara back in the league? I think this is the only position Reyna could play to be a big help to NYRB. Assuming he didn’t stink last year because his career is over and he simply can’t play anymore. I would be more concerned about the players behind Altidore/Angel/Reyna. Especially without Richards or Freeman. Yuck!

  53. aristotle says:

    One more thing:

    Dema Kovalenko? NYRB’s got to do better than that. Sure he might be able to play a LITTLE better than CR did last year, but who wants that? Dema’s time has passed.

  54. David Berger says:

    I am happy that Cepero is being loaned out. He wouldn’t have played a single minute this year.

  55. aristotle says:

    Since I seem to be by myself, I’ll make another post!

    Would I be correct in saying most posters here, regardless of what they think about NYRB’s team, believe the NYRB are much better than the L.A. Galaxy?

    I think people may be exaggerating how bad the Galaxy are. I would go so far as to say that if I were a coach I would rather have the Galaxy mid-field and front line than that of NYRB.

    Sure Altidore/Angel is a better front line, but combine the two segments of the teams, and I think the Galaxy’s could be better.

    I think a mid-field of Vagenas, Klein, Donovan, and Beckham beats NYRB’s present mid-field of Stammler, DVB, Sassano/Richards, Reyna/Magee, or whatever they use. I think this more than makes up for the deficit of Buddle/Gordon and Ruiz against Altidore/Angel. Then there’s the fact that I think Cronin is a better goalkeeper than Conway. So that just leaves the defense. The Galaxy’s defnse definitely looks shaky, but it’s not like NYRB is a defensive powerhouse. At the very least the Galaxy will have a lot of experience at the back with Xavier, Vanney, and Jazic.

    Am I wrong?

  56. Sandro says:

    brett – No I am a Red Bull fan. I just dislike when players sign a contract and then want out. Conde sign a contract, so he needs to honor it.

    Red Bull all the way. I would want Conde because to me his loyalty lies with the coach and not the team.

  57. papa bear says:

    @Posted by: jerry | March 28, 2008 at 12:46 PM

    other than an MLS cup title, 4 US Open Cups and a Supporter’s Shield trophy and doing the Double, yeah, they haven’t done much. /sarcasm I believe DC is the only team with more silverware in their trophy case.

    Dude, Chicago is holding up the deal because they are investigating a tampering angle, which will no doubt be proven true. Once that’s settled and we are compensated, then you can expect to see Conde move. Simple.

  58. irishapple21 says:

    Wow, Fire fans are really bitter. And that’s coming from a Red Bulls fan.

  59. Tim F. says:

    This will continue to bite the Fire. Serves them right. Conde the Red Bulls want you!!!!

  60. brett says:

    irishapple21- bitter?? na, we are just holding people to their words…

    Tim F- why does this serve the fire right?? b/c they expect people to actually live up to their contracts??

  61. Jerry Nowak says:

    Reyna and McGee playing positions they have never played effectively is rediculous. The coach and management are out of their minds. We have Clint and let him go. A great passer with extensive experience. This coach is not very smart to open the season without a seasoned number 10. So what else is new.


  62. Dan-D says:

    Never ceases to amaze me how grown adults act like children. If conde is not happy in Chicago, then let him do what he wants. He is not going to produce results for your club, if he is not happy. Remember Leverkusen and Donovan. We remember Donovan? He the guy who refuses to use indoor plubming.Shame,Shame. My point Leverkusen let him move on. So should Chicago and Conde.