Red Bulls sign Bouna Coundoul, waive Conway

Bouna Coundoul ( 

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The New York Red Bulls have completed the signing of goalkeeper Bouna Coundoul to a contract through 2012, sources confirmed to SBI on Monday. To make room for Coundoul, the Red Bulls have waived goalkeeper Jon Conway.

The Red Bulls acquired the rights to Coundoul from the Colorado Rapids for an undisclosed allocation fee before reaching a contract agreement with Coundoul on Monday. Coundoul's agent, New York-based agent Ron Waxman, confirmed the agreement.

Coundoul started for the Rapids in 2007 and 2008, compiling a 17-22-12 record with an impressive 1.16 goals-against average (the second-best career average in league history). He left the Rapids after last season when he failed to reach an agreement on a new contract.

Raised in New York, the Senegal native and Senegalese national team goalkeeper enjoyed a solid 2008, including an appearance for Senegal in the 2008 African Cup of Nations.

Coundoul, 27, is expected to eventually take over as the Red Bulls starting goalkeeper, replacing the talented but erratic Danny Cepero.

Conway's departure ends a four-year tenure with the Red Bulls. He started 63 matches for the Red Bulls, posting a 23-24-15 record during that time. He enjoyed his best season in 2008, before having his season ended by a 10-game suspension for violating Major League Soccer's performance enhancing drug opolicy. He returned from his suspension early in 2009 but he never showed the consistency or form he displayed in the first half of 2008, eventually losing his job to Cepero.

What next for Conway? It is a safe bet that the Chester, Pa. native will wind up with the Philadelphia Union in 2010.

What do you think of this move? Glad to see it? Think it's pointless given how bad a year it has been for New York? Surprised to see Conway let go?

Share your thoughts below.

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53 Responses to Red Bulls sign Bouna Coundoul, waive Conway

  1. baloosh13 says:

    i love this team…

  2. Rossi is Judas says:

    This might help with the Concacaf Champions League, but it’s too little too late for the MLS season.

  3. bob says:

    yeah it was all conways fault. this team is a joke.

  4. Bill says:

    wow – bailed on conway is kind of huge. I’m not saying conway was stellar, but he didn’t appear to be the issue with red-bulls (perhaps he’s a cancer in the locker room?).

    I’d say coundol is a super keeper.

    hmm, even though you’d not believe this – I’m not a xenophob, but is there really a strong reason to not hire american keeper (or even player – how many gringos on red bull)? Houston, to name a strong team, seems to do excellent with them. (If I’m not mistaken, Osorio when assistant coach in metrostar days..bailed on bocanegra – so perhaps he simply doesn’t ‘trust’ american talent)

    Wouldn’t it be better to punt on the coach prior to making these changes? You can’t be serious we’re keeping this coaching staff the remainder of the year!?

  5. chris says:

    dont blame the offense for not scoring, or the midfield for being giving them no service, or the backline for being terrible, or the coach/front office for not having a single clue how to run a competent soccer team… BLAME THE GOALKEEPER!!

    ladies and gentlemen your 2009 New York Red Bulls

    (remember we went to the MLS cup last year!!! lololol)

  6. nico says:

    Coundoul is quality. Great signing, imo.

  7. gmen04 says:

    good thing we are doing strong as the flagship franchise for the league, more liek laughingstock. At least Coundol will bring some personality to the team…grasping for positives

  8. Josh says:

    Conway isn’t the problem per se, although he’s a little too slow to be a full-time starter. Coundoul has better lateral movement and is quicker to the ground, but I doubt Casillas would stand much of a chance behind this defense.

    The problem is the constant tinkering. If it’s Conway today, it’ll be Stammler or somebody else tomorrow. Eventually you realize it isn’t the players, but the coach. Or if it is the players, it’s the lousy scouting, ill-advised signings, and chemistry-disrupting turnover that’s sabotaged this team more than anything else.

    At least the Red Bulls started sucking early this year, so we could save our energy for other things.

  9. KCB says:

    The lesson here kids is, don’t do drugs or you will have to find a new place to play in the USL.

  10. Boguslaw Joganauvski says:

    Yawn, no better way to put people to sleep than to start talking New York Red Bulls, or anything MLS for that matter. Can’t we stay focused on international football for just a few more days, I was really beginning to get excited.

  11. Jeff Parke says:

    This is great. I was getting lonley here in Vancouver. Now, maybe I’ll have someone to go to GNC with again!

    Coem on up, Jon! Your headband is waiting.

  12. Nick says:

    Can’t believe nobody’s said it yet…

    It’s Bouna Time!

  13. ga-gone says:

    Had to happen. lets all keep in perspective that Conway was one of the highest paid keepers in MLS. Which is absurd.

    Pietravallo and Conway gone… dump Khano before 7/1 and all my must-move guys are gone.

  14. Rossi is Judas says:

    Has anyone ever heard of “Team America”?

    link to

    They must have taken the concept from Chivas. Interesting idea, although it couldn’t fly today.

  15. Coach says:

    Always liked Coundoul. Sure GK isn’t the #1 problem, but Conway-Cepero are backups IMO.

    The thing that surprises me is that he’s signed through 2012?! That’s a pretty big leap from being out of the league to having a 3 year deal.

  16. JSquaredNY says:

    Can’t even be excited about this seeing as how it doesn’t really make the team better and won’t make them more competitive. There were obviously way more important issues to address than the keeper. Cepero although erratic was good enough for now and will just continue to get better with experience. If only RBNY had the brains to bring someone in that can help put the ball in the opposing team’s goal. Maybe they can actually can the coach that has the team playing kick ball. It doesn’t take a genius to see that the coach is the reason that the team is in shambles. It’s his line up and his style of play. Oh yeah and JPA isn’t getting any younger…It’s time we invest in some youth. Particularly some American youth.

  17. Seisco says:

    @ Bill

    The Dynamo’s keeper is Pat Onstad who is actually Canadian. So not all of their talented players are American.

  18. ga-gone says:

    Guys, i know some people are bummed we didn’t sign an attacking midfielder or something… but is there a single person here who could justify keeping Conway on the books at 125K?

  19. kpugs says:

    I wonder when Conway’s contract is up, because to me this is like putting a band-aid on a bullet wound.

    I would much rather just let Cepero keep playing, keep Conway and re-sign him on the cheap than see a team making significant roster moves at a point where they know they aren’t making the playoffs because they are pathetic.

    Fakename anonymous Joganauvski, go play in traffic.

  20. ga-gone says:

    IIRC, Conway signed a lengthy deal in early 08. 4-5 years.

  21. JL says:

    Coundol is prone to making big mistakes though when a team can’t afford them. So while it may be an upgrade, he is still going to give fans headaches when he drops a cross or misjudges a flighted ball and the opponent scores a easy goal. I would think the biggest issue is still center defense for NY though, so this signing is more an band aid for a missing limb than anything.

  22. Heffe says:

    Funny how Ives’ words sound like a eulogy for Conway.

  23. Sterlinho says:

    It’s Bouna Time!

  24. inkedAG says:

    This contributes nothing to this team.

  25. chupacabra says:

    At the very least, it will be entertaining to once again see Bouna’s Gollum-like moves on an MLS pitch as he scrambles in the box for “my precious!”

  26. RapidsMan says:

    Get ready for some Bouna Adventures!!!

    You will love his acrobatic saves, but you will palmface alot.

    His positioning and distribution leave much to be desired, thats why noone would sign hin in France(thats where he wanted to go..spoke to him personally)

    He is a class act and fans will love him though….well maybe not New Yorkers(they are like Philly fans and hate all their team’s players lol)

  27. United fury says:

    Another thing to note is that Coundoul wont come cheap either. He is probably making around the same as Conway was and I’m not sure if he is that much of an upgrade. The only real thing he notably has on Conway is his age.(27 vs 31)

  28. OgreDave says:

    i ALWAYS disliked conway, I think he was pompous and did not own up to what he did wrong, he did not pass any good knowledge to his understudy either. Good riddance, MARK MY WORDS THIS CHANGE WILL CHANGE THE TEAM FOR THE GOOD, watch the team from this point on!!!!!!


  29. Union James says:

    Philly would have been proud to have Bouna Time or any signing. I am predicting that the Philadelphia management is waiting for the jerseys to come out to announce a huge DP signing.

  30. Cindy says:

    peace out Conway — i won’t miss you. he was such a jerk. here’s hoping all these changes mean good things for RBNY, we could really use some!

  31. Kevin says:

    I had the fortune to watch Bouna for two years in Colorado. He’s kind of a tweener- probably not good enough to be in the league, but there’s a lack of quality keepers in the US these days. He’ll make some good stops – but he’ll also give the ball away A LOT. Good luck, NY, and have fun with that. RB fans are not Rapids fans.

  32. JesseMT says:

    Well look – I know you guys don’t feel like BounaTime will solve all of the problems with RBNY, and it won’t. But it’s an upgrade at an important position. There is no simple fix; this team needs a total overhaul. If it was me, I’d keep Kandji, Stammler, Cepero as a backup, and maybe Goldthwaite, and that’s about it. So this is step one of about 400, but hey its a step.

  33. Roberto says:

    Now get Edgar Davids for pietravallo and you’ll give a reason to go to the stadium.. He was in town last week for the Steve Nash thing, and I’m pretty sure something went on during that week

  34. Mac says:

    I don’t get the hype about Coundoul. I’ve watched MLS since 1996 and have seen many keepers come and go. He’s no better than the average MLS keeper. Yes, he’s athletic and acrobatic but he’s just as prone to making boneheaded mental mistakes as Jon Conway (and I’m a DC supporter so I have no soft spot for Conway). There have been games where I’ve watched Coundoul and thought to myself, “You’ve got to be kidding me,” when he’s ventured too far out of his goal, flailed at a cross, or had the ball picked off his foot. I think he has neither the technical ability nor the tactical awareness to be an elite keeper in MLS, or anywhere else. I thought he was going to Europe when he couldn’t reach an agreement with the Rapids. What happened there? The only benefit I can see from this signing is that the Red Bulls have added another hometown player to the squad but not one who’s going to be an impact player.

  35. New yorker says:

    I’m surprised about this move. I heard the Coundoul rumors before and while he is a decent goalkeeper I don’t think this fix anything because the whole team is a disaster right now. I don’t see why they had to dump Conway. Sure there have been numerous games where his goalkeeping had much to be desired but he at least competed with Danny Cepero for the starting role. I’m surprised that the Red Bull Company hasn’t started an overhaul of the team yet. I’ve heard rumors of Obster Duka,and other players trialing for the Redbulls but nothing has come of it.

  36. backdeckjeff says:

    Hey, JCO has found the answer! Yup. It’s the Goalkeeping! Scoreless/Winless on the road since the Reagan Administration and he axes a keeper. Nice. Oh, and as for Coundoul…in such demand that he went unsigned for the first half of the MLS season. Pink Cow fans will love his soft rebounds and wandering out of the box. LOL…”I’m laughing at the superior intellect.”

  37. Lorax says:

    Bouna is NOT the answer. He is just as “erratic” as Cepero. He will make some athletic saves here and there but will have a more difficult time adjusting to a new 11 in front of him each time out. Goalkeeping errors are looming…

    If your looking for answers to why NY is a joke franchise you need to peek behind the curtain. Agoos has got to go. The guy has no clue how to evaluate talent let alone put together a professional team.

  38. scott47a says:

    A lot of negativity in New York these days, no?

  39. Nick says:

    Unless Coundoul is significantly cheaper than Conway, I’m not convinced this is a good move.

    When I think of Coundoul I think of him making some acrobatic last ditch saves for Colorado…which were only necessary because he was way out of position. I’m not sure I trust him to help organize the defense, either.

    But if he’s making 50k or less then I’m ok with it.

  40. ag nigrin says:

    Mr. Pants Conway was good for a while but after we got to know him as a self righteous arrogant dude it was easy to say adios… Bouna at least wants to be here… Any word on Ernst Obster, Ives??

  41. Mark says:

    I was never a fan of Conway, so I’m not sad to see him go.

    However, until they sign and play some guys like Dilly Duka and just let the second half of this season be an audition for the young guys I won’t be very happy.

  42. Nick Thomas says:

    All a bit negative. Bouna is a class act and a much better goalkeeper than most people seem to be saying. Fans will love him in NY as they did here in Colorado. Looking forward to seeing him at DSG Park.

  43. Tay says:

    THIS IS THE GREATEST NEWS I’VE HEARD ALL DAY. THIS, my friends, is the turning point in the RedBulls season. Finallyyy our prayers have been answered and Conway is no longer a RedBull. Oh thankkkk god.

  44. Richard says:

    One good thing about Coundoul is that he is a “local” kid – yes, from Senegal but via MLK High School. So that’s a nice touch….

    And that’s about the ONLY good thing. What we need, more than anything, is…well, the shopping list is exhausting.

    At this point, is anyone willing to just chuck the entire squad except for JPA and Kandji, and just get 21 guys from the Cosmopolitan League?

    How could they possibly be worse??

  45. BarçaGirl says:

    not sad to see Conway go…. not at all.

  46. Kingsnake says:

    The Dutch boy just put another finger in the dike …

  47. miller says:

    great news out bad gk conway,this maybe chase

  48. Matt Mathai says:

    I’m a DCU supporter, but I feel bad for NYRB supporters today. Condoul is a disaster waiting to happen. He’s generally liked by people who like flashy goalkeeping, but he lacks the fundamentals that serious teams need. The kid is almost always out of position which is why he has to make so many spectacular diving saves. A good keeper’s day is pretty boring – just one routine save after another. Look at how many saves Kasey Keller makes without having to move two steps. It’s because he positions himself so well.

    For you old-timers, this guy is a modern version of Higuita – awesome physical tools, but almost completely lacking in the mental aspects. He’s young, so perhaps he can learn, but so far he’s pretty unimpressive. In fact, he’s a less talented Louis Crayton.

  49. Keith G. says:

    I hope this is the begining of more good moves to come. I think Condoul could become a real good keeper, he just needs to be coached right. Now I would love to see the Red Bulls go out and get a striker that can actually score goals just about every other day. It will never happen but I would love to see them bring in Adriano. Then go get Ze Roberto and have anchor our midfield. I think maybe then things would really start to change.

  50. Frustrator says:

    This 2009 Red Bulls team clearly reminds you of how silly all of us Red Bull fans are in “Falsely hoping” that they will actually one day be any good and not just ride a three game win streak to MLS Cup…It is very sad how so many other teams seem to consistently put the pieces together but this team has let a ALL-WORLD team of players slip through their hands for years. Just look, think of some of the players that have played here and how they have played since leaving. I can’t help but wish that a new team comes to the NYC area because they will probably put together a better product a lot quicker than this franchise has in it’s sorry existence…Don Garber should forget about expansion and just contract this sorry excuse of a team…teams like this make you follow other leagues and think of ours as a rec league..anyone who was at that miserable last minute let down like I was vs DC knows what I mean…i left that place only wanting my money back…and i feel that for the way this team has played all the fans should get their money back and all the players should be released…

  51. aristotle says:

    I’m surprised at how many people dislike Condoul. I think he is an excellent goalkeeper and fun to watch. Maybe that’s why a lot of NYRB fans don’t like him. They are not used to that kind of thing:)

    He is easily a big improvement over Cepero and Conway. Even if he ends up playing erratically and doesn’t return to the great form he had for an extended period of time with Colorado, he will lessen the boredom that is the trademark of NYRB.

    Why are so many people acting like this means NYRB is making a statement that goalkeeping was their problem or that this means they are blaming Conway? When you are as bad as NYRB, ANY improvement is welcome. This IS an improvement. It’s also long overdue. Conway was NEVER a starting goalkeeper.

  52. JFRedBullFan says:

    Funny. I’ve been a Red Bull season ticket holder for years and, in all those years, I’ve not heard one harsh word towards Jon Conway…in fact, I remember all the so-called “fans” really pulling for him at alot of points in his career. EVERYONE flocked to Conway at the post-game pub appearances, EVERYONE had to have a picture with Jonny. Now that he’s gone, apparently, EVERYONE hated him. Fandom, I tell ya…

    In response to the earlier suggestion that RBNY keep Conway and let him ride the bench for the rest of the season…the MLS campaign may be out of reach, but the Champions League looms and, honestly, I think JCO needs to at least qualify for the group stage in order to save his job in NY, and THAT’S why all the changes are coming now.

    Good luck, Bouna, and best of luck, Jon.

    As for me…I’m gonna let the move play itself out and actually WATCH what happens before I spout an opinion…I suggest the rest of you “Red Bull fans” do the same.

  53. Mastro says: