Stadiums, National Teams & Playoffs With Bobby Convey

Bobby Convey and the Earthquakes head into battle Saturday against Thierry Henry Inc.

The New York Red Bulls take on the San Jose Earthquakes Saturday in a playoff match-up that may not be as one-sided as some people might think.

The Right Coasters may have galloped their way to first place in the East, but questions persist about their midfield and prized recruit Thierry Henry hasn’t been an automatic on the team sheet for the better part of a month.

They’ll head to the Left Coast to play a San Jose Earthquakes team that’s got the look of a spoiler.

The Earthquakes beat their chests with a veteran keeper in Jon Busch, a scalding hot shark of a striker in Chris Wondolowski who’s driving home freaking laser beams, an underrated pairing of former MLS cast-offs in Khari Stephenson and Sam Cronin manning the middle, and a U.S. World Cup veteran at leftback who started for the Yanks in arguably one of their most impressive performances ever, Italy 2006.

That defender’s name is Bobby Convey and he joined us last week to discuss playing in San Jose and his incredulousness at continuing to be left off the U.S. Men’s National Team.

TSG: Heading into the playoffs–you guys have two games left–looks like you’re going to face the New York Red Bulls. What’s going to be the difference in a potential series with Henry, Inc.?

Bobby Convey: Any team we play against in the playoffs is going to be a strong team.

The main thing for us is to get a good result in Game 1 since we’ll play the first one at home, and then to try and win it on the road.

TSG: Is there any more animosity in facing the Red Bulls? In the first game this year, you received a hard foul which resulted in a red card and ten men for New York. You guys won that one, I believe it was 3-0. In the second game–role reversal–you got a questionable yellow and New York ran away with it.

More animosity in facing them?

Wondo, streaking for San Jose...but everyone is a contributor, says Convey...

Convey: No. They’ve obviously added a bunch of players since we beat them. The first game we played well, the second game they played well and came out on top.

I don’t think it’s more of a rivalry. I think for me, it was an awful call by the referees–you can watch the replays.

Going into the playoffs though, the games are harder, there’s more tackling, there’s more physical play and hopefully the referees can get it right this time.

TSG: Okay…how far can you guys go in the playoffs?

Convey: Well anything can happen. And then it’s about who’s on form.

Injuries come into play and who’s on form. It really depends who’s up for it on the day.

TSG: Who’s the MVP of the Earthquakes this year: you’ve got Busch who’s been a difference maker, Wondo who is on fire, and you’ve covered at leftback and still provided assists. Who’s the most integral?

Convey:  For myself, I’m just happy that I played well all season and really contributed.

For me, I just try to look at myself and my objective for me is to create as many chances for others as possible. As a wide player that’s what you look to do.

It was frustrating to move to leftback…I can’t really create too much from there. It’s more defending obviously. For me, I’m just happy how the season’s gone.

And as a team I’m happy we’ve all done well. As you said, Wondo has scored some goals as of late and you know that definitely helps, but I don’t think we’re a one-man show.

Everyone has to play well for us to do well.

TSG: How do you rate your game now? As you’ve said, you moved to leftback; it’s been frustrating and doesn’t sound like it’s a role you relish. Where is your game and career at?

Convey: I feel good. I was able to workout in the offseason. It was the first offseason I really had in five years  since I was in England where you don’t really get an offseason.

I was able to hang out with my family for the first time for the holiday season in a long time and really just get away and rest.

And then workout at home with my trainer a couple of times a day for a month or so, and I feel came  into the seasons feeling really well.

MLS is one of those leagues where one season you can do really well and one season you maybe don’t do as well.

TSG: So talk more about the league–MLS–where do you rate the league right now quality-wise versus the Championship and Premiership in England from your experience playing in both?

Convey: I don’t think…I think…that there’s good teams and good players in England in general.

MLS is a young league so you can’t really compare it to the Championship or the Premiership.

I think a big difference is with relegation you always have players fighting for a spot because the team can go down and have their budget and players cut, whereas you really don’t have that over here.

It’s definitely going in the right direction over here, and hopefully in the next five to 10 years the league will continue to grow.

Convey, going hard...

TSG: One of the things I like about your game, but it’s also kind of a double-edge sword, you play sometimes with a temper…you have a killer instinct but it also gets you in trouble sometimes. React to that.

Convey: I’m just competitive. I’ve never wanted to lose. Sometimes you get too competitive.

For me, I’d rather be too competitive than too complacent.

Sometimes, when you’re sitting out with an injury for a while, as I was, you look back and you don’t take playing for granted anymore.

For me, once you’re on the field there are no friends. I’m trying to compete as best I can and win for our team.

TSG: That’s a trait of yours I do appreciate. It definitely comes across. You see players that are clearly not as passionate…which brings me to a prickly subject: competing for the national team.

The U.S. needs a lefty with bite. They need a leftback.

Now that there is a new campaign for 2014, do you feel it’s a fresh start for a shot at the team, for your candidacy?

Convey was a starter on the 2006 US World Cup team...

Convey: To be honest, I don’t look at the national team at all. I haven’t spoken to the coach in four years.

I don’t know what I can do.

For me, I was on the national team forever. It’s obviously very difficult when you see a team that’s brought in and you have more caps than 75 to 80 percent of the guys actually on the field!

But that’s not up to me. All I can do is play and enjoy it here with Earthquakes.

I think Landon is the only American player ahead of me in assists in the league.

Best I can do it and let guys like yourself in the media talk about it.

TSG: It may be against protocol, but would you ever reach out to USSF and say, “Hey, guys, I’m what you need!”?

Convey: Well, I think the same as you. There is no reason other than personal.

If it’s about playing and it’s about people that are playing well, then I deserve to be there.

I’m the same as you. I don’t know why I haven’t been given a chance.

I kind of let it go. To me it’s not necessarily the national team anymore as motivation, I just try to enjoy being here with Earthquakes and with my family.

I can’t do anymore to show my skill.

TSG: Let me ask this question, if you got called in you would go?

Convey: Yeah, but I haven’t spoken to them.

I knew after the last World Cup that I wouldn’t be called in anymore.

TSG: Wait, did they call you or email you or something?

Convey: I just knew. Soccer’s a small world in this country.

I talked to people. People I trusted and I knew right away I wasn’t going to go in anymore and it was extremely disappointing.

TSG: I appreciate you answering those questions. I’ll move on. Some rumors were floated last year that you may be interested in going back to where you grew up in Philadelphia and playing for the Union.

Where do you see yourself two years out?

Convey: I feel great and they’re talking about bringing in even more players here.

Now I just take it year by year and as you continue to go along in your career you want to win championships.

I’d be lying if I said though that you go to LA and NY and you don’t want to play in the stadiums there.

But there’s positive momentum here.

San Jose's current stomping grounds: Buck Shaw Stadium

TSG: Going to the stadium issue. I’ve been to the Buck. It’s perhaps a fun place to watch a game, but not necessarily a home field advantage. I think that probably doesn’t help the Earthquakes; it probably hurts. Your thoughts?

Convey: It’s always difficult being a professional and playing in a college stadium in a college environment.

We’re kind of the red-headed stepchild in terms of Santa Clara because they obviously want to use their facilities for their teams.

We have a great training field now though and that’s been a huge step for the team.

But once you get your own stadium you get momentum, people get more excited and fans get more excited.

It’s difficult for the team to promote a professional team at a college stadium.

I think that moving forward they have a good plan here so it’s not really an advantage or disadvantage being at the college; it’s just not as professional as some of the other stadiums.

I think they’re really pushing to get a stadium done though.

TSG: Because of that, do you miss playing at Reading or just overseas?

Convey marked time at Reading from 2004-2009

Convey: It would be a lying to you if you if I didn’t say to you that I missed that.

Over 70,000 people for five years. You don’t need to get yourself as excited or as up for the games because of the town and the environment.

You drive up and there’s a huge stadium full of people and you get instant energy to play.

I think hopefully coming up here, we’ll get a stadium and we’ve got really good fans and they’ve been very supporting.

Hopefully with a stadium it will just entice even more people to who we have supporting the team.

TSG: Two ways MLS can improve the league?

Convey: I think by adding the D.P. rule it obviously helps. It brings exposure and good people in. MLS can now compete with other leagues for top players.

And then of course the stadiums. They are doing 35,000 per night in Seattle. Adding in the fan bases and stadiums of Portland and Vancouver should help and add excitement.

TSG: Okay, I’ll wrap up here…best of luck in the playoffs. I appreciate your time.

Convey: Thanks and you’re welcome.

—–

Buck Shaw Stadium in Santa Clara California plays Coliseum to Bobby Convey and the San Jose Earthquakes as they invite in the New York Red Bulls in Game one of their home-away this Saturday at 7pm PST.

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33 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by Nicholas on 2010/10/25 at 9:40 AM

    Props to him on addressing the MNT questions. I’m sure it’s still a sore wound.

    Still. it’s hard for me to believe you’d simply write a player off like that. Just seems silly.

    Reply

  2. Posted by Crow on 2010/10/25 at 10:55 AM

    Please let Bobby know that we would love to have him at LB for the National Team. And if Bob and Sunil have a problem with it, they can leave.

    Reply

  3. Posted by Russ on 2010/10/25 at 10:58 AM

    It was your standard issue dull/predictable athlete interview (the responses at least) until you got to talking about the USMNT.

    You could feel the bitterness coming through the computer monitor.

    Reply

  4. Posted by Brian on 2010/10/25 at 11:31 AM

    Convey needs to get over it. Has he gotten a fair shake? No, not exactly. But the guy acts like he’s fuckin Clint Dempsey or Landon Donovan and he had been killing it during the 4 years between the 2006 and 2010 World Cups.

    Injuries ruled him out for the 2007 Gold Cup and 2007 Copa America, and in all competitions for Reading (FA Cup, League games, Carling Cup) he only made a 12 appearances (11 as a starter) during the 06/07 Premier League season, 22 appearances (14 as a starter) during the 07/08 Premier League season, and 9 appearances (6 as a starter) during the 08/09 Championship League season. During that time he scored 0 goals and had 8 assists. Let’s face it, Bobby faded due to injuries and lack of playing time, and he really only started to regain his form this season. He also made some pretty stupid comments about Bob and the US system in general prior to the World Cup, which now look EXTREMELY stupid because Bob is still the coach.

    I thought he maybe deserved a call up to maybe to the pre-World Cup friendlies, but hey life isn’t fair. Just ask Brian Ching or Conor Casey. And with Clint Dempsey, Landon Donovan, Stuart Holden, and DaMarcus Beasley (a fellow left footer) on the World Cup squad. I guess you could argue Convey over Beasley, but Beasley is a much established player (and a Bradley favorite) on the national team and he played pretty damn well against the Netherlands in the pre-WQ March friendly.

    I do hope that Convey gets called up for the South Africa friendly (if SJ are out of the playoffs by then) and definitely for the Camp Cupcake January friendlies because he deserves it based on the way he has played this season (and because our regulars will be unavailable). We’ll see if Bob decides to bury the hatchet though

    Reply

    • Posted by dth on 2010/10/25 at 11:54 AM

      co-sign that.

      Reply

    • Posted by ReadingUltra on 2010/10/25 at 7:31 PM

      The guy was the top rated player or in the top 10 in the championship during the 2006 season according to four four two magazine.

      He also took the free kick that led to the own goal by Italy in WC2006, and his hard work on the wing helped USA earn that draw despite being man down much of the game.

      Also, you are comparing him to midfielders. USA would use him at left back if they brought him into the USMNT now.

      Reply

      • Posted by Brian on 2010/10/25 at 9:58 PM

        Cool. That was 4 years ago. Doesn’t mean anything now. And yes I was comparing him to midfielders because that’s the position he plays best and if he had gone to South Africa that’s what he would have gone as. You’re out your damn mind if you think Bob was going to try another Beasley-esque experiment at left back in the May friendlies before the World Cup.

        If he was brought into national team right now (for the South Africa and/or the January friendlies) he could be used at both LB and LM. With Beasley not seeing much playing time for Hannover (so far), we’re really lacking a lefty winger. As for LB, I don’t see him as the savior that some of you see him as. Sure his offensive skills are better than and he offers more going forward than Bocanegra, Bornstein and Pearce, but are his defensive skills any better than Pearce and Bornstein (definitely not better than Boca)? I don’t think so. But with Bocanegra hurt and Bornstein in Mexico, Pearce will be the only LB available for South Africa, so who knows maybe Convey will get a shot. Same for the January friendlies, as both Bornstein and Bocanegra will unavailable again and I can’t really think of any other American MLS left back options.

        Reply

        • Posted by Brian on 2010/10/25 at 10:55 PM

          And if Convey, doesn’t get any call ups, then he really only has himself to blame for the stupid shit he’s said in the past about Bob and the US system. He didn’t really think that one through and like I said before, from after the 2006 World Cup until this MLS season, Bobby didn’t really do anything to deserve a call up. You didn’t see Beasley bitching during the period he was left off the team after the 2009 Confederations Cup until his call up in March 2010 for the Netherlands friendly. Nor did you see Eddie Johnson bitching about his lack of call ups during the 2009 Final Round of CONCACAF WCQ’s. Edgar Castillo? Kyle Beckerman? I could find other examples but I’m too lazy. Convey should have kept his mouth shut

          Reply

  5. Posted by Brian on 2010/10/25 at 11:32 AM

    Convey needs to get over it. Has he gotten a fair shake? No, not exactly. But the guy acts like he’s effin Clint Dempsey or Landon Donovan and he had been killing it during the 4 years between the 2006 and 2010 World Cups.

    Injuries ruled him out for the 2007 Gold Cup and 2007 Copa America, and in all competitions for Reading (FA Cup, League games, Carling Cup) he only made a 12 appearances (11 as a starter) during the 06/07 Premier League season, 22 appearances (14 as a starter) during the 07/08 Premier League season, and 9 appearances (6 as a starter) during the 08/09 Championship League season. During that time he scored 0 goals and had 8 assists. Let’s face it, Bobby faded due to injuries and lack of playing time, and he really only started to regain his form this season. He also made some pretty stupid comments about Bob and the US system in general prior to the World Cup, which now look EXTREMELY stupid because Bob is still the coach.

    I thought he maybe deserved a call up to maybe to the pre-World Cup friendlies, but hey life isn’t fair. Just ask Brian Ching or Conor Casey. And with Clint Dempsey, Landon Donovan, Stuart Holden, and DaMarcus Beasley (a fellow left footer) on the World Cup squad. I guess you could argue Convey over Beasley, but Beasley is a much established player (and a Bradley favorite) on the national team and he played pretty damn well against the Netherlands in the pre-WQ March friendly.

    I do hope that Convey gets called up for the South Africa friendly (if SJ are out of the playoffs by then) and definitely for the Camp Cupcake January friendlies because he deserves it based on the way he has played this season (and because our regulars will be unavailable). We’ll see if Bob decides to bury the hatchet though

    Reply

  6. Posted by matthewsf on 2010/10/25 at 11:33 AM

    Quite a bit of very fair commentary here in comment section.

    Sincerely,
    Author of the piece.

    Reply

  7. Posted by Crow on 2010/10/25 at 11:59 AM

    I’m sorry but after watching Heath ” formerly known as Mr. Creepy Mustache but now known as wannabe Giovanni dos Santos” Pearce “do his thing” in Philly the other week (up close in the front row of the AO section), and Johnny B just being Johnny B in the Meadowlands in August (in person in the front of the AO section), I’m ready for anything- especially Bobby Convey.

    If not, is there any way we can get Omar Salgado to convince Ponce to leave Chivas and be the USMNT Left Back?

    Reply

    • Posted by matthewsf on 2010/10/25 at 12:03 PM

      Another fair piece of commentary here. Convey certainly warrants a look, based–in my opinion–on his solid past 12 – 18 months and given the current talent pool.

      That said, his defending is just a shade above Edgar Castillo’s (who some folks who write a lot of blog posts daily) trumpeted for a *starting* spot on the USMNT last year.

      Okay, digression…

      Reply

      • Posted by Crow on 2010/10/25 at 12:19 PM

        I can’t argue with that (Convey’s D), but even though Pearce and Bornstein are supposed to play defense…. you can’t call what they do- defending. I love Pearce’s signature move- the slide tackle way past the attacker. It reminds me of a novice playing D on FIFA- slide tackling all over the place. And this is the same guy who couldn’t connect with his teammate (Shea) in Chester. Not much to offer going forward in my eyes.

        And Bornstein is just Bornstein.

        Finally, Bocanegra just can’t keep up with pacy wingers and offers NOTHING going forward.

        I was actually very skeptical of Castillo all along despite the fact that I am desperate to see anyone tryout for LB.

        Thank you for listening to my ranting and putting up with my horrible grammar.

        I feel better now.

        Reply

  8. Posted by kaya on 2010/10/25 at 1:26 PM

    I guess the fact he made the move to left back for SJ says something, but perhaps his vocal displeasure with the position also has something to do with his omission?
    I’m finally going to get my lazy butt down to SJ on Saturday to check out this stadium for myself. I haven’t been to a SJ game since their reinception.
    Matt: any chance you’ll author a piece on bay area soccer politics? It seems like the “per capita” interest in soccer is higher here than just about anywhere else in the country, and yet we still haven’t managed a soccer stadium, when it gets built it’s going to be in the hinterlands for a large part of the region, and we lost out on being a WC bid city. I guess it’s not really relevant to the TSG community as a whole, but it’s something I’ve never been able to find much of an answer to.

    Reply

    • Posted by SJfan on 2010/10/25 at 7:34 PM

      Where do you live and why haven’t you been to any games yet? This is the reason a stadium hasn’t been built yet… you answered your own question… the large number of soccer fans in the bay area aren’t coming to games.

      Why does no one in the bay area refer to San Jose as “the hinterlands” when discussing the San Jose Sharks?

      Reply

      • Posted by kaya on 2010/10/25 at 10:00 PM

        Up until a couple months ago, San Francisco. Best case scenario, that’s at least a 2 hour drive to go see a 90 minute game. Now I live in Belmont (just south of San Mateo) and so I’ll probably go see more games next season.
        I love soccer and would like to be more into the MLS. Putting the stadium way down at the south end of the bay area rather than in SF or Oakland explains a lot about why more people aren’t going. It’s hard to attract the greatest audience possible to an MLS game when the stadium is so far offset from the region’s “center of gravity”. That’s why I think more people aren’t going.

        Reply

  9. Posted by Brian on 2010/10/25 at 3:08 PM

    As a fellow Northern Californian (Sacramento), I was bummed that no Bay Area venues made the final cut for the stadium list, but I found out (from Ives actually in his Live Q&A) that the list of cities and venues is more of a formality so that we have something to present FIFA in our bid book. If we do indeed win the bid to host the 2022 World Cup, the venue list isn’t set in stone. FIFA and USSF can make changes to it. You didn’t really think we’d have a World Cup without Chicago, did you? So the Bay Area can possibly still be a World Cup venue, but it probably hinges on the SF 49ers getting a new stadium. The World Cup is 12 years away so I think that is probably pretty likely.

    Reply

    • Posted by matthewsf on 2010/10/25 at 3:19 PM

      Sorry I haven’t had a chance to respond.

      Brian you are mostly accurate in your comment. It’s not as “loose” as a formality but more of a heirarchy of locations that can be amended.

      The bid cities aren’t set in stone and not including San Francisco (as no stadium in the Bay Area can seat more than 55K I believe) was more a negotiation-based move by USSF rather than an outright elimination.

      There will be pressure to get the stadium up to snuff and, by not naming, SF other competitive bids can’t make a statement like, “Well, no even all of your listed cities has a stadium that is xyz big!”

      That said, by not including SF, USSF sends a message that it needs to get it’s stadium in gear. I have a hard time seeing a cultural center of SF, with a diverse ethnic base and (here’s a key) plenty of practice field and accomodation space, not being selected for a city. But–I’ve been wrong before.

      Stay tuned next week as TSG has it’s first expose on World Cup 2014 with a pretty intriguing if concerning story.

      Reply

  10. Posted by maxq on 2010/10/25 at 6:33 PM

    I’m confused about the 70,000 people comment. Reading’s stadium holds 25,000 – better than Buck Shaw, but still…

    Reply

  11. Wondo has the goals and is the Quakes’ MVP, but Convey has been a tremendous force offensively and defensively all year. I hope he does get the national call-up. I”m pleased with the mature and insightful answers he gave to the interview.

    Reply

  12. Posted by Tiddiesnbeer on 2010/10/26 at 11:51 AM

    Hey Brian,
    Why the stick up your ass about Convey? Where are these disparaging quotes about Bob and the USMNT? Help me out, never saw these in print…
    Convey has been a solid player through his career. Every player has times then they are in form and out of form and injuries play a role in a players ability. His experience with the national team and his time in Engerland should make him a good candidate to at least get a sniff at the LB role (our weakest position, still..well after striker) with the USMNT. Bornstein? C’mon, Beasley, C’mon, Pearce, good one…Convey needs a shot.
    Hopefully, SJ leaves him unprotected in the expansion draft. We would love to see him wearing the Timbers colors next year.

    Reply

    • Posted by Brian on 2010/10/26 at 5:01 PM

      Stick up my ass? Hardly. I just don’t like guys who bitch and whine. And I’m not like I have some kind of hard-on for Bob Bradley either. Honestly, the whole Bobby Convey story is sad to me, in a John O’Bren or Cory Gibbs kind of way. Pre-micro-fracture surgery Bobby Convey probably would have been starting at the 2010 World Cup on the left, with Donovan on the right, and Dempsey would have had to move up top.

      I’m glad he’s getting back to form and playing well, but like his said before. His lack of call ups were due to injuries and/or just lack of playing time. He was mediocre at best for San Jose in 2009, and he probably came on too late in 2010. Some of you may argue, “well what about Buddle and Gomez? They came on late too!” Well unfortunately for Bobby he doesn’t play striker, left mid wasn’t something that we were too desperate for in the lead up to the World Cup with Donovan, Dempsey, Holden, Beasley, Bedoya, Kljestan and Rogers all capable of playing there. I felt he at least could have been called up to the inital camp of 30, as I consider him better than Rogers and about equal to Bedoya and Beasley. I hope he gets called up in January, but we’ll see.

      As for those quotes for Bob, I’m searching through Big Soccer and the rest of the interwebs. I’ll post them when I find them. If I remember correctly, he said them after he didn’t get called up to the pre-World Cup camp.

      Reply

      • Posted by matthewsf on 2010/10/26 at 5:04 PM

        Hey guys, this Matthew (editor, founder dude)….I love a great debate as much as the next guy (and I let some of these comment roll) but for those new to TSG we try to keep the commentary section strictly impersonal.

        Non-personal debate–especially with situations and data to back it up–is great! But please make it about a point or issue, not about a person.

        Thanks!

        Reply

      • Posted by Nick on 2010/10/26 at 5:28 PM

        I found the article/quotes in question:

        http://www.sjearthquakes.com/news/2010/05/convey-not-being-us-30-very-disappointing

        This is all Bobby says:

        “To think that I’m not one of the best 30 players in our country is very disappointing,” Convey told MLSsoccer.com. “I think I’ve spoken to [U.S. coach] Bob Bradley three times in my entire life, so I don’t know what he’s thinking, and it’s not up to me. All I can do is play and work hard and that’s about it.”

        I think you might be blowing those comments a bit out of proportion, Brian. He doesn’t say anything negative about the US system or Bob Bradley. I’d be disappointed, too, if I got snubbed in 30 favor of Robbie Rogers, who even in May was nowhere near as good as Convey in MLS play.

        Reply

      • Posted by Nick on 2010/10/26 at 5:31 PM

        And just to follow up my post, I can see how some people could interpret “I don’t know what he’s thinking,” to be a negative comment, but it can also just be taken as, “I can’t read minds, I don’t know what rationale Bob uses, so I could hardly try to explain it.”

        Reply

      • Posted by Brian on 2010/10/26 at 5:35 PM

        I found this one (http://www.socceramerica.com/article/38068/convey-makes-belated-case.html):

        “It’s competitive, but there’s a lot of players in my position on the national team, so it’s been extremely disappointing to not go with the national team,” Convey said in March 2009. “Through the injury situation I was in, I would have loved to have some support from the national team. That was difficult. I played well before and I want to come back and play well now, but it was disappointing to have guys in the same situation as me in Europe and still would be coming in, and I’m the only one who doesn’t. You get on with it. The coach chooses who he wants to choose. It is what it is. I haven’t spoken to Bob. I’ve talked with him a couple of times. Obviously I wasn’t in the plans. There’s a reason behind that. It’s not just playing.”

        Turns out even though the article was written in May 2010, the quote is from March 2009, so it isn’t really relevant to what I said, but the quote has an overall whiny and bitchy feel to it, if you ask me. Especially the part about him “the only one” who doesn’t get called in. Plenty of players (albeit for not quite as long as Bobby) have been in his situation: Benny Feilhaber, Eddie Johnson, Sacha Kljestan (to some extent), Edgar Castllo (kind of), and Kyle Beckerman. Keep in mind this is the same Bobby Convey, who also that a “coach” (didn’t specify who) came him during the 2006 World Cup and said “they” didn’t like him and that “they” weren’t going to call him up anymore. But Bobby was called up 4 times in the beginning of Bob’s tenure.

        But I also found this (http://www.sjearthquakes.com/news/2010/05/convey-not-being-us-30-very-disappointing):

        “To think that I’m not one of the best 30 players in our country is very disappointing,” Convey told MLSsoccer.com. “I think I’ve spoken to [U.S. coach] Bob Bradley three times in my entire life, so I don’t know what he’s thinking, and it’s not up to me. All I can do is play and work hard and that’s about it.”

        Again, probably not the smartest thing to say. Show some maturity, Bobby. He kinda just strikes me as a player who thinks that he somehow deserves call ups just because he’s been in the US system most of his life, and because he played in the 2006 World Cup.

        Reply

        • Posted by Nick on 2010/10/26 at 7:07 PM

          Fair points, Brian, and kudos on digging up that article from a year and a half ago. That one definitely is a little more antagonistic, especially coming from early 2009 when he hadn’t really done anything to show he’d been back in the national team. It doesn’t sound like the kind of thing that would cause Bob Bradley to hold a grudge against him, but who knows, especially since he BB seems to favor Bornstein and Pearce, who IMO haven’t shown they are any better options than Convey at left back this season.

          Regarding that coach, I think it would have just created more problems for him if he’d called out a coach by name. While I agree it wasn’t the smartest thing for him to go public with those comments, I think he significantly limited the damage by not calling out a US Soccer official by name. Although he was called up early in Bob’s tenure, he did play through his knee troubles in the World Cup (in fact, they came up towards the end of the 2005-2006 season) and realized fairly early on in the 2006-2007 that he would need surgery, so why risk aggravating things in the meaningless friendlies that follow the World Cup?

          Like I said above, I don’t see anything wrong at all with the second quote from right after he was snubbed for the 30. He’s disappointed, but it’s not like he says “Bob Bradley has no idea what he’s doing,” the most negative thing you can read into that is, “I don’t understand his rationale.” The first two months of MLS are a small sample size, granted, but he was in much better form than Robbie Rogers, who was called up for the pre-World Cup camp.

          It may be whining, but I think it’s understandable to be that frustrated, especially since his knee injury affected three and a half years of his career (second half of 2006-2009, where he acknowledged he wasn’t 100% because of the injury). I also suspect there might be something going on that we don’t know with regards to Convey and the higher-ups (including the coaching staff) at US Soccer, but we’ll have to wait to find out, if we do at all.

          Reply

  13. Posted by GeorgeCross on 2010/10/26 at 12:44 PM

    Not sure where to share this, but the Rascal of 2002 is ‘possibly considering’ MLS…

    http://www.fifa.com/worldfootball/clubfootball/news/newsid=1324232.html#frings+considers+mls+switch

    Reply

    • Posted by matthewsf on 2010/10/26 at 12:52 PM

      Yawn! :>

      Seems like a topic a lot of people have glommed on to today.

      Frings has a ridiculously hard shot and is a capable midfielder, but doesn’t really whet my appetite if you made him the D.P. of my MLS team.

      Something I do want to look into is players using MLS DP stuff as a negotiation ploy — probably not there yet, but a lot of these “rumors” smack of that. (See: Ballack, Michael).

      Reply

      • Posted by Nick Rosano on 2010/10/26 at 4:50 PM

        I’d like to add, D-Mid is a position MLS is not exactly lacking in and while I think Torsten Frings is a capable player, there are many players here that teams would not have to offer that kind of money to but could get a similar performance out of. In terms of experience and technical ability he’s better than what MLS teams have to offer, but I don’t think he’d be a game-changer like Marquez in that position (though they have different roles) and probably not worth DP money.

        Reply

  14. Posted by Stephen on 2010/10/26 at 9:49 PM

    “Convey: To be honest, I don’t look at the national team at all. I haven’t spoken to the coach in four years.”

    FACT: Bobby Convey STARTED AND PLAYED 70 MINUTES in the February 2008 friendly vs. Mexico in Houston

    http://www.ussoccer.com/News/Mens-National-Team/2008/02/U-S-Men-Continue-Unbeaten-Run-At-Home-Against-Mexico-With-Exciting-2-2-Draw-In-Houston.aspx

    -In a line-up which included Ramiro Corrales and Drew Moor, he was arguably the worst player on the pitch that night. The fact that he even was called in was a generous move by Bradley, and Convey just didn’t perform. Sure it is just one game, but as Brian has mentioned, Convey simply hadn’t been getting games for Reading and was coming back from injuries. He proceeded to miss out on the summer friendlies of 2008 and all of qualifying. I am happy to see him doing well now, but it is really no mystery why he had not been called in the past couple of years. Following his play this season however, an omission from the January camp would be legitimate cause for complaint.

    Reply

    • Posted by Brian on 2010/10/26 at 11:58 PM

      That was his last cap and he also went the full 90 against Mexico in Feb. 2007, then was a 46th min. sub against Sweden in Aug. 2007, and was a 70th min. sub against Brazil in Sept. 2009. (Source: http://www.ussoccer.com/Teams/US-Men/Lineups/2007-Lineups.aspx)

      I don’t really remember the 2008 Mexico game too much other than Jozy scored, and I remember being really confused as to why Corrales and Moor were playing, lol. I don’t remember too much how Convey played, but if he was as bad as you said he was, then maybe that could have been it. Maybe Bob realized that Convey wasn’t the same player that he used to be and decided not to call him up until he started getting playing time and got his form back, and that never really happened. Bob gave him a chance, he performed badly and didn’t really get much playing time after that (until he got to SJ).

      Bob typically doesn’t cut players out right away if they’re not getting much playing time with their club. Just like Bobby, he’ll give them a chance but he’ll then drop if they mess up or continue not to play for their clubs.

      Look at all the playing time Freddy Adu got in 2008 when he really wasn’t playing much. Then he looked bad in the 2009 Gold Cup, continued not to play for his club and out he went and hasn’t been seen since.

      Look at Beasley, he got injured in April 2009 with Rangers, Bob still picked him for the June WCQ’s and the Confederations Cup, then he f*cked up against Brazil in the Confederations Cup, didn’t play for Rangers again consistently until Nov/Dec 09, and didn’t get called up until the Netherlands friendly in March 2010.

      Same with Benny Feilhaber, when he got his first cap for the US in March 2007, he hadn’t played for Hamburg for 2 months and he continued to play for the USMNT up until March 2008 when he was only getting sub appearances for Derby, then he pretty much stopped playing at all for Derby, signed with AGF, was injured from Sept. 2008 until March 2009 and we didn’t see him again the June 2009 Honduras friendly. I could go on and on, but I think you guys get the point. Convey is no different. Bob gave him a chance, but he had injury problems and didn’t play much, and it’s literally taking this long (until this MLS season) to get back to something that was close to how he used to be before his injury problems.

      Bobby might have a point about the 30 man camp for the pre-WQ friendlies (Rogers??), but if you look at, he was someone who was out of the national team picture for so long and just started recently playing well. And it’s not like he was completely tearing up the league. At the time (of the call ups), he had 0 goals & 4 assists (for comparison, Donovan had 1 goal & 8 assists, and Brad Davis had 3 goals & 3 assists).

      So actually in the interview, Bobby Convey is incorrect. Donovan is not the only American MLSer with more assists than him. Brad Davis has more too.

      I for one, will hold off on the Bobby Convey “Bob Bradley and US Soccer hate me” conspiracy theory, unless he doesn’t get called up for the January friendlies.

      Lastly, if Bobby Convey isn’t at least a whiner , then he’s definitely a HUGE EXAGGERATOR. “I haven’t spoken to Bob Bradley in 4 years”? Ummm, pretty sure you played for the US in Feb 2009, so that’s not even 2 years ago, Bobby. And “I think I’ve spoken to Bob Bradley three times in my entire life”. Well bro, you’ve been called up 4 times, so I’d imagine you’ve spoken to him those 4 times and probably a couple more times, unless Bob was giving you the silent treatment during one of those games. LOL!

      Reply

  15. [...] told The Shin Guardian last fall, “I knew after the last World Cup that I wouldn’t be called in anymore … [...]

    Reply

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