Red Bulls sign Conde after completing deal with Fire

Wilman Conde (

Just days after selling Tim Ream to Bolton, the New York Red Bulls have secured the services of his replacement, signing Colombian centerback Wilman Conde after making a trade with the Chicago Fire.

The Red Bulls dealt allocation money (which one source put at $150,000) to the Fire for the chance to sign Conde, who returns to MLS after spending 2011 in Mexico with Atlas. The left-footed centerback was an MLS Best XI defender with the Chicago Fire in 2009, and left the Fire after a disappointing 2010 season.

Conde returns to MLS after injuries, and foot surgery, turned his foray in Mexico into a short-term disaster. The Red Bulls are banking heavily on Conde being the dominant centerback he was during his best years in Chicago, with the combined cost of acquiring Conde's rights, and his salary, believed to be worth close to $500,000.

Conde has a bit of a history with the Red Bulls, having been a key trade target for New York when Juan Carlos Osorio was the Red Bulls head coach. Osorio, who joined New York in 2008 after leaving the Chicago Fire, tried desperately to bring Conde to New York, and Conde even publicly expressed his desire to join the Red Bulls back then, but the Fire rejected every offer. Ironically, Conde now joins the Red Bulls after turning down a chance to reunite with Osorio at Mexican club Puebla.

What do you think of this signing? See Conde being a good replacement for Ream?

Share your thoughts below.

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52 Responses to Red Bulls sign Conde after completing deal with Fire

  1. BB says:

    Hope he brings some stability to a shaky RB defense.

  2. Modibo says:

    What’s the difference between a partial allocation and a full allocation?

    (SBI-Well, a full allocation is $300K, partials are any fraction of that, be it $150K, $150K or $75K. the term “partial allocation” isn’t used as often since you can argue that any piece of an allocation is, in fact, an allocation.

    Long story short, it’s just semantics.)

  3. gilby says:

    That is a ton of money for an MLS Centerback no matter how good he is. I know they are flush with cash from the Ream transfer but this seems like a desperation move on the Red Bulls part.

  4. Johnny Bornstunk says:

    This allocation business is garbage unless it’s disclosed how much each team has, etc.

    There isn’t enough clarity information on it to be worthwhile news and that’s a bad thing for MLS.

    More discussion, interest, debates with great insight and information.

  5. downintexas says:

    Gilby, you should know by know that the red bulls do nothing out of desperation. It is all part of their long term plans. This has been planned for a long time. It just looks like they have no idea what they are doing, but thats their ploy.

  6. Ryan says:

    Seriously. Get $650k worth of allocation from the Ream transfer and spend $500k of it on Wilman Conde? No offense, but that’s laughable.

    (SBI-No, it’s not $500 allocation for Conde. It’s $150K allocation and $300K-$350K in salary, at least from what I’m hearing. Thought that was pretty clear.)

  7. Vic says:

    Not that I necessarily want to see more American, but here’s a question, will there be an American in the Red Bulls starting line-up for the opening game?

  8. tim says:

    Hopefully he’s a disaster and it helps shake up the organization…

  9. Tim F. says:

    I assume Conde has had a physical with the Red Bull team physicians and passed it?

  10. Aguinaga says:

    Since when has disaster ever been a reason for shake up in the illustrious history of our glorious team? No my friend, disaster is our status quo. It’s stability, logic, reason, and accountability we must be wary of.

  11. TomG says:

    They have been doing an excellent job of looking like they don’t know what they’re doing for years now. They are extremely committed to this disguise.

  12. ZoroEatsYou says:

    LOL. Have fun with this one NY. Your organization is too laughable.

  13. America, F@&$ yeah! says:

    Possibly Agudelo, Cooper, or Dax McCarty.

  14. Matt says:

    I like the move and suspect we wouldn’t have people ridiculing it if any other team had done it. Conde’s only 29. If you consider playing in only 13 games because of injury and scoring 2 goals a disaster, then yeah his year at Atlas was a disaster. If he’s healthy again there’s no reason why he shouldn’t be an excellent addition to New York’s back line. They needed an experienced, physical central defender and they got one. On top of that it’s a guy with a lot of MLS experience who won’t require much of an adjustment period.

    (SBI-Conde COULD be a great signing, but he’s also a player coming off foot surgery who’s last good season was in 2009. To suggest there is ZERO risk in him not working out is a bit naive. Are some folks going a little overboard with talk that this is an awful signing? Sure, but at the same time, the Red Bulls have paid top dollar, beyond top dollar, for a player who would have to be at his very best to truly earn that money.

    There’s definitely some gamble to the move. You pay big and you look for the big payoff, but you could also end up with a Conde who is a step slower and not close to the 09 All-Star Conde. If that happens, will you really consider it wrong for people to question spending half a million on him?)

  15. irishapple21 says:

    Only an idiot would think that bringing Conde onto the Red Bulls is a bad move. Oh, and by the way, RBNY has developed more players for the US National Team than any other MLS team. We also have one of the best academy systems in the country — MLS or otherwise — so we keep churning out top level American players. Don’t go making stupid comments just because you are jealous.

  16. Sec112 says:

    Have no fear.

  17. joe k says:

    not as much as their other centerback (unless they push him up to d-mid again)

  18. joe k says:

    Is the allocation money just to acquire right of first refusal?
    if they didn’t buy his rights, could they have just offered a DP salary and counted on chicago not matching?

  19. Matt says:

    I never said there was zero risk. There’s risk involved in any signing, especially a guy coming off surgery. IMO this is a risk worth taking, even if it eats up a large portion of Ream’s transfer allocation. The defense last year was a disaster. Now they have – on paper at least – one of the better center back pairings in the league, with Keel as a capable backup. Let’s see where we are later in the season, but I cannot blame Soler for pulling the trigger on this one.

    (SBI-You think it’s a risk worth taking, but not everyone agrees with that, which is why I think some folks are questioning the deal. Obviously some people are just being trolls, but that’s life for NY, but there are folks with a legitimate reason to question whether NY paid too much.)

  20. Joamiq says:

    This is a lot of money for a guy who hasn’t been good for two years now.

  21. understood says:

    cincinnati bengals:carson palmer::nyrb:wilman conde

  22. Air Jordanz says:

    I still don’t see how RBNY plans to have 11 or 12 internationals on their roster.

    If they have to trade for more int’l spots, I hope they get torn a new one in the process.

  23. Tyeon says:

    I agree people are Jealous, We have top prospects our weakness is taking care of and people cant handle it. They most likely will sign Palson.

  24. Michael F. says:

    I’m a Red Bull fan but turning out great academy players that never get a shot at the first team, sit on the bench or jet after two seasons means nothing. I don’t think anyone is jealous of that track record.

  25. Michael F. says:

    It’s just a shame that the NYRB didn’t try to keep Ream (based on what I read). Wouldn’t you want to keep your most promising talent, help him develop while he helps you? At this point you gotta believe Ream is a better bet then Conde. Hell, I would have thrown a new contract at Ream to keep him. But Backe has proven over and over again, to go with veterans, even t the expense of changing formations and playing players in unfamiliar positions just NOT to play rookies, etc. This franchise is cursed. I hope my job offer from LA comes through so I can unapologetically switch my allegiance to the Galaxy. 17 years of suffering is plenty…

    (SBI-Michael, blaming RBNY for selling Tim Ream for $3 million doesn’t really make much sense. You’re talking about a defender with two years left on his MLS deal, a player who NEVER EVER EVER would have re-signed with MLS. Now you have $3 million to help potentially fund a residential youth academy, which only help RBNY attract top talent from the talent-laden tri-state area. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with NY selling when they did. If anything, they were smart to hold on to him and not sell him last summer for just half that price.)

  26. RLW2020 says:

    Michael F. – you are referring to J. Agudelo and forgetting:
    T. Howard
    J. Altidore
    M. Bradley
    E. Gaven
    M. Wynne
    T. Ream

    not all of them came from the youth system, some where allocated by the league or signed from a low division team, but that is a very significant impact on the National Team, more than any other MLS side…

    that aside the management is always making questionable decisions but at least they have made some good ones as well.

  27. Charles says:

    I don’t disagree with anything you are saying there….but not ONE of those players is helping NYRB fans be happier with their team this year. Including Agudelo to some degree (too big of a degree in my opinion) if last year is any indication.

  28. Michael F. says:

    SBI-Thanks for the reply. Great to see you entering the conversation and not just sitting high atop your fortress looking your vast soccer media empire. I get your point. But why not try to through a new contract at Ream that would make him want to stay an additional three years? If they did try and he rejected it that’s one thing. But if they didn’t try, that just doesn’t sit well with me as a fan. I keep hearing how NYRB has all this academy talent, blah blah blah – well where are they? Yes I know it’s hard to make the first team but a lot of other MLS teams get their academy players to the first team, why not NYRB? Hey, Ives, what’s the latest on Agudelo?

  29. Michael F. says:

    *throw : god I hate typos, sorry. As a writer I hate them even more.

  30. inkedAG says:

    RB is not afraid to overpay, aren’t they? First Kenny Cooper, now Wilman Conde. Sheesh!

  31. GSScasual says:

    borrajo, mccarty, cooper…

  32. JoeW says:

    Yes, NYRB has a good academy system. But I think it’s a mistake for any MLS team to boast about their academy as of it–none of them are cranking out the number of pros that something like even a moderate level Dutch youth academy does.

    And frankly, if we look at the history of MLS (and to control for players who’ve played on multiple teams) to say “which MLS club did USMNT first play with?” I think you’d find that LA Galaxy and then DC United have the most numbers.

    Conde is an interesting risk. He could be a real asset. Or he could be like Segares (who left the league as possibly the best left back in MLS and in his return was…not so much). Conde is a risk. To count on him is a mistake–NYRB needs to be sure they have coverage in case he doesn’t work out.

  33. GSScasual says:

    they are one of the most profitable companies in the world.. they could afford messi if they wanted.

  34. David says:

    Clearly they didn’t see or read Moneyball haha

  35. Nick says:

    Let me get this straight…we lose an overated Tim Ream,(remeber, he lost us the philly game with a horrible giveaway to Roger Torres) get 3 mil from Boltonand pick up (in his prime) an XI best player? Sign me up!!!!

  36. otergod says:

    Fire protected Conde in the expansion draft when he became a free agent. Therefore the Fire own(ed) his rights for a span of 2 years. Any MLS team wanting to sign him would have to go through us first, assuming we didnt want to re-sign him.

  37. otergod says:

    Has MLS altered their transfer fee rules? in the past didnt the team only receive 3/4th’s the fee (the other 1/4th going to the league)?

    of the 3M, wouldnt the Red Bulls only receive 2.25M?? Still, even at 2.25 you could fund the academy for an extended period of time.

  38. otergod says:

    in 2009… a lot of things have happened since, and that includes a pretty shoddy 2010 in Chicago.

  39. Torgo says:

    To gain some perspective, was the quality of Conde’s play in 2010 any worse than the quality of Ream’s play in 2011?

  40. otergod says:

    Worse. Chicago fans expect the best, while NY fans expect the worst 😉

  41. USCasual says:

    Anyone who blames NYRB for selling Ream is just an idiot and doesn’t have a clue how footy works. You can’t compare this to any American sports (as much as Don “NFL” Garber wants you too)… its a complete different thing. Here you havea player WHO WAS NEVER, EVER, EVER, EVER going to re-sign with MLS. You drafted him as a 2nd round pick and developed him into a nice CB. A bigger club comes along and wants to buy him… you sell him and move on. that is how footy works.. this whole draft, trades, etc.. is so American that most footy fans don’t even understand it. Not too mention that Ream will be making DP money for Bolton.. for those of you who say RB should have tried to sign him.. you want to give him DP money? Here you have Wilman Conde coming back.. and all you hear is yadayada… Ives your one of the worst RB bashers out there.. you take cheap shots every chance you get so of course you are going to say “he’s not as good” “its a big risk”.. etc.. Its a good move, and he is still relatively young… With Holgerson, Conde, and Keel.. Marquez, Tainio, and Palsson the central mid role looks solid, and just as good as anyone in the league.. throw in 1 more year of work for Solli, and Roy Miller gets a lot of crap, but is a pretty good player.. only thing RB is really missing at this point is a true attacking mid.. I’m sure you will pick NY to finish way down, but to me this team is better than last years by far.. more depth with experience, solid players, and just missing 1 piece. Vuolo is tough as nails and will do fine.. So I’ll wait for your bashing to begin.. GEEZ get over your lil inside informant Osorio is no longer here… why don’t you just report that RB is a EU based club and operates much like a EU club.. that will solve a lot of issues for this fan base that only understands American sporting.. thanks.

  42. USCasual says:

    How did we overpay for Kenny Cooper??? I’m sorry in poor man’s MLS the rest of the league gets upset when God forbid you spend a lil money on a player.. we got it.. so don’t worry.

  43. boosted335 says:

    Im not a Ream fan but I highly doubt Conde is $240k+/yr better.

    We will see

  44. boosted335 says:

    we’re gonna need you to invoke your name and take it down a few levels 😉

  45. MTs says:

    What are you talking about? He played very well in Mexico.

  46. Dan in New York says:

    Spot on, I like your perspective. You’re right about getting an attacking mid to round it out too: Michael Ballack and Del Piero are both available.

  47. GSScasual says:

    Boom… UScasual just hit the nail on the head.

  48. Eugene says:

    I’m pretty happy with this. They got a quality centerback in Conde and sold Ream high. They’ll also be able to use part of that Ream sale towards getting a third DP, which should also help the team.

    Overall, being a RBNY fan for a while now, I don’t see why other fans are crying about a management that got us to first place in the East 2 years ago and the playlets last year. I think we’ll get to the playoffs again this year, and then it’s anyone’s guess. I also think the team is stronger/deeper than last year. What about all the teams who haven’t made the playoffs in years? Now that’s management that sucks. I think the Soler/Backe era is much better than the Osorio era (for example).

  49. Joamiq says:

    Did he? I saw him once and he did not look like the same player. If you saw him regularly and thought he was good though, I’ll gladly take your word for it.

  50. Denny says:

    Except for GK, The Defense has been solidified. Like Philly, I dont think you need a big name GK with the type of Defense they have.

    Tainio and Marquez in front of Miller, Holgersson, Conde, and Solli will make one of the best defenses in the league.

    It looks like NY is going with a more LA type of style. Stout defense and the occasional goal. It is a shame that we’ll have to wait until the summer for Del Piero.

  51. MI says:

    you’re a moron. go ahead switch teams. we dont need fans like you around.

  52. Eugene says:

    Totally agree that defense will be good. People forget that Conde can also fill in at left back in case Miller gets injured, so we now have depth at that spot too. I’m looking for the GK spot to be addressed soon, would love to have a leader there.

    On Del Piero, I hope the Red Bulls aren’t signing him! I think he’s too old and his motivation for coming to NY now at this point in his career is suspect. I would much rather that we go with Lampard, who is bigger and stronger, and I think would do better in MLS. Lampard also an excellent free-kick taker, just as Del Piero. If we’re going with an Italian playmaker, I would much rather we get 32yr old Andrea Pirlo than 37yr old Del Piero.