One of the sentiments repeated readily over the course of the off-season by the Red Bulls' front office was the need to strengthen the team through the middle. And if Hans Backe is right, newly signed centerback, and 2009 MLS Best XI selection, Wilman Conde should fit that role to a T.
Backe told the Post...
I almost rate him as the best centerback in the league; physical, phenomenal left foot, good in the air, tackles, good understanding of the game, experienced. I think that is absolutely a player that has almost everything.
Quite high praise for a guy who will be filling in for recently departed Tim Ream.
Conde, a Colombian international, finally gets his wish in playing for the Bulls after the Chicago Fire refused to let him follow Juan Carlos Orasco to New York in 2008. He played in Chicago in 2009 and 2010 before jumping to Atlas de Guadalajara for 2011. He has only appeared in 13 games that year due to injury and managerial change. He terminated his contact with the club prior to the start of the 2012 season.
Back on Jan. 12, Big Apple Soccer reported the Bulls had acquired Conde's rights.
The Fire will receive allocation money for their troubles.