Conde Focused

Jovial defender shows he's all business on field

Wilman Conde clearly likes to enjoy himself.On the Fire practice field or in the locker room, he exhibits a boyish demeanor.

"He has his moments when he likes to joke around with guys," said Conde's central defense partner, C.J. Brown. "He keeps guys on edge, which is good. He has a different style compared to what everyone else is used to. He likes to do his thing, and I think people are starting to get used to it now. He's doing well."

Still, something seems different this season about Conde, 27.

The laughs aren't as frequent, but Fire fans are enjoying Conde's play more than ever. So far his fourth season with the club has been his best - and his most businesslike.

"I am still the same happy person," Conde said Wednesday through a team translator. "I have different objectives on a personal level, but I play with the same happiness."

Always a candidate for postseason league honors, if Conde can stay healthy and keep playing as he has been, he should be a lock for the MLS First XI and a candidate for Defender of the Year.


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