As the New York Red Bulls scour the world for a possible head coach, the turnover continues with their current roster.
Colombian defender Wilman Conde, who struggled through 2012 battling fitness issues, has been released by the club. In a statement, the Red Bulls claim the club and player came to a “mutual” agreement to “terminate his contract.”
EoS has learned otherwise. League sources with knowledge of the situation confirm Conde, 30, asked for his release – and the club obliged.
The Red Bulls took a risk on the former MLS All-Star who missed nearly an entire year of action with a season ending foot surgery hoping the procedure didn’t diminish the centerback’s ability to shore up the team’s backline. An undisclosed amount of allocation was paid towards the Chicago Fire for his rights and the experiment began.
Unfortunately for the team, Conde struggled through most of the season to regain his fitness and ability. Having played 17 matches with the club, the burly defender earned 16 starts, notching a goal and an assist. He played an uncharacteristic but nevertheless steady role at left back in place of an under-performing Roy Miller during the team’s run to the playoffs – but contributed little else.
In fact, his stay will likely be best remembered for a pair of off-field issues. An early season run in with the cops on a domestic disturbance call to his apartment raised eye brows with the team. A late season locker room tirade earned him a club suspension, according to sources with knowledge of the situation (New York never acknowledged the suspension publicly).
With his departure, Conde leaves New York with yet another large sum of money to work with. His release opens up $141,666.67 in cap space.
There are now all of 13 hold overs from the team’s 2012 roster.