116street Soccer

Footballing from a lesser authority...

Location: New York, New York

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Know Your Yanks: Bobby Convey

If you thought it was hard to get a good cheesesteak in New York City, or that tickets to the Roots are way overpriced here, try being a Philadelphian at Reading FC. It's hard out here for a pimp, especially if you're Bobby Convey.

Bobby Convey was the original American child prodigy; in 2000, at age sixteen, he became a regular in the starting lineup of D.C. United, several years before Freddy Adu would do likewise. His years as a fixture in the D.C. lineup appeared to be at an end in 2003, when he agreed to a transfer to English Premier League side Tottenham Hotspur. Unfortunately for Convey, he was denied a work permit (international players must meet a criteria of national-team games to play in England), and returned to MLS.
In 2004, he transferred for real, this time to Reading FC, where he began play in the League Championship (England's 2nd-tier division). His 2004-05 season proved disastrous; as a player once pegged for stardom, he couldn't even break into Reading's first team, and his place with the U.S. team was slipping. To Convey's credit, however, he stuck it out and got himself ready for the 2005-06 season.
2005-06 proved to be Bobby Convey's breakout season; not only did he earn a starting position with Reading, he proved to be a major factor in their greatest-ever season, winning the League Championship and gaining promotion to the Premier League for the first time in the team's history. As a result of his stellar season, FourFourTwo magazine declared Convey England's 10th-best player not in the Premiership.
Convey was a member of the U.S. squad that finished fourth at the 1999 Under-17 World Cup, and made his U.S. Men's debut in 2000, at age 17. He has spent most of his U.S. career as a backup to DaMarcus Beasley, but his strong play of late has caused him to challenge for the top spot on the left wing. He can also play in the center of the midfield, and may do so regularly in the future. Convey possesses superb ball control and speed, and has worked hard on his game to become a superior crosser of the ball. He is also an inventive and effective passer, and does well enough defensively to occasionally be used at left-back. His shooting, once notoriously subpar, is much improved, to the point where he has become an effective free-kick taker. Considering that he is about to turn only 23, look for him to be a star for the Stars and Stripes for many years to come.

Career Highlights:

2000: Makes pro debut with D.C. United (USA, Major League Soccer). Becomes youngest-ever MLS player at age 16 (record since broken by D.C.'s Santino Quaranta, then again by D.C.'s Freddy Adu). Makes U.S. Men's National Team debut.

2003: Joins Tottenham Hotspur (England, Premier League) from MLS on a $2 million transfer, but has British work permit denied, and must return to D.C. United. Named Captain of U.S. Under-20 team at World Youth Championship.

2004: Joins Reading FC (England, League Championship) from MLS on a $1.5 million transfer.

2006: Wins League Championship with Reading. Gains promotion to Premier League with Reading.


Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home