San Jose make it official: Convey will not return in '12

Bobby Convey of the Quakes

Photo Credit: 
Getty Images

SAN JOSE, Calif. — What was long assumed is now official: Bobby Convey will not be back with the San Jose Earthquakes in 2012.

Quakes general manager John Doyle confirmed that fact Wednesday, telling MLSsoccer.com that the interpersonal chasm between Convey, the 28-year-old former US international, and coach Frank Yallop simply could not be bridged.

“Frank’s made it clear, and Bobby’s made it clear — they can’t work together,” Doyle said.

The impasse came into the open last month when Convey, the club’s highest-paid player in 2011, blasted Yallop for engaging in “mind games” over the course of the season. Convey bounced between left back and left midfield, was dropped on three occasions from the starting XI and didn’t see any competitive play after Aug. 27.

For his part, Yallop said Convey’s lack of playing time stemmed from the fact that other players were faring better. Second-year player Justin Morrow established himself at left back, while English midfielder Simon Dawkins, on loan from Tottenham Hotspur, stepped in at left midfield.

At the time of Convey's outburst, Doyle said no final decision regarding the former teen phenom had been reached. That's no longer the case.

“Watching Bobby play in the one playoff game where he really helped us against New York [a 3-1 win to win their Eastern Conference Semifinal in 2010], we just needed him to play like that all the time,” Doyle said. “On the salary he was on, it was difficult unless he played that way.

“Then you look at Frank and Bobby, the different positions and willingness — unwillingness — to play there. I think it’s a bummer it didn’t work out. It’s a bummer for Bobby’s side, for Frank’s side and for the Earthquakes’ side.”

While 10 MLS teams combined to waive 31 players Wednesday, San Jose did not cut anyone in that fashion. Convey will therefore be among several Quakes whose options won’t be picked up by San Jose in advance of next month’s Re-Entry Draft.

From that group, Doyle said he and the team will be targeting “probably four or five guys” that they would like to keep, albeit on a smaller salary than their options are worth. If the players are not selected via the Re-Entry process, the Quakes get first shot at signing them on new deals.

“They all know what number we’re looking at getting them for,” Doyle said. “If another team picks them up on that option number that we think is too expensive, they’ll go for that. ... We don’t want to waive them, want to give them the opportunity to make that salary.

“We value the players, it’s just [a matter of] fitting them under the cap.”

Geoff Lepper covers the Earthquakes for MLSsoccer.com. He can be reached at sanjosequakes@gmail.com.