Convey hopes Klinsmann is key to return to USMNT
SAN JOSE, Calif. — On any list of players who stand to gain from the dismissal of Bob Bradley as United States national team coach, San Jose Earthquakes veteran Bobby Convey has to rank near the top.
So it was not quite a shocker Tuesday when Convey gave his hearty approval of USSF president Sunil Gulati’s decision to replace Bradley with former German superstar Jurgen Klinsmann.
“I think that it’s obviously a great choice,” Convey said. “[Klinsmann] is a very good tactician. He knows the game, and I think that he’ll be a great improvement for moving the US team forward.”
Convey played in all three matches for the US at the 2006 World Cup and has 46 international caps altogether. However, the 28-year-old hasn’t seen national team duty since February 6, 2008, even as the US have struggled mightily for consistent play at left back. Convey has made it clear that, from his perspective, his absence from the selection pool stemmed primarily from a frosty relationship with Bradley.
“I don’t think it had anything to do with [issues] on the field,” Convey said. “I’ve been an All-Star the last two years, so I’ve just tried to let what I do on the field speak for itself.”
Convey knocked Bradley, albeit indirectly, when listing off the expected positives of handing over the reins to Klinsmann.
“He bases [selections] on playing ability,” Convey said of Klinsmann. “I think that’s a great thing for everyone, not just myself. He will play the best players and not just the people that he likes the most.”
Convey reiterated Tuesday, just in case there was any doubt, that he’d love to once again don the red, white and blue if Klinsmann were to call him in.
“It would be a long break between appearances,” Convey said, “but [playing with the national team] is something that I’ve always thought I would end my career with."
The timing of Bradley’s exit dovetails nicely with Convey softening his stance against playing as a defender for the Quakes. San Jose coach Frank Yallop has used Convey almost exclusively at left back since the end of April, and Convey has said he’s now fine with the switch. That attitude might change, though, if the Quakes, who are winless in their last nine, don’t start piling up victories soon.
“Obviously, left back has been the weakest position for the national team, and for a long time,” Convey said. “Unfortunately, I didn’t get a chance to play last year. That spot’s open and I started there in the All-Star Game, so we’ll just see.”
Geoff Lepper covers the Earthquakes for MLSsoccer.com. He can be reached at email@example.com. On Twitter: @sjquakes