KANSAS CITY, Mo. – Bobby Convey is a 13-year veteran of the pro game, has played in a World Cup and was a starter in the English Premier League. In one sense, it would be a serious stretch to call him “the new guy.”
On the other hand, that’s exactly what he is with Sporting Kansas City. But Convey, back in his natural left wing spot after being acquired from San Jose in the offseason, has wasted no time fitting into the only vacancy in his new team’s starting lineup.
“There’s been a spotlight on me my whole life, so I’m kind of used to it,” Convey said of the transition. “It’s not that big a deal for me. Everyone here has been very welcoming. Playing here is amazing. They have made the transition for me very easy.”
And, he said, being the only new arrival in the first XI has its advantages.
“When it’s just one guy, it’s a lot easier than having a few new guys coming in,” he said. “The only person who has to adapt is me, instead of the other way around.”
The former US international, who was just 16 when he broke into MLS with D.C. United, helped Sporting maintain a dominating possession advantage in last weekend’s 1-0 First Kick victory over United.
“Our possession was very good in that game, and Bobby was a big part of that,” manager Peter Vermes said. “He’s paid attention to what we’re trying to do, but he’s also using the qualities of his game to enhance the way we play.”
Convey has also jelled quickly with left midfielder Roger Espinoza and left back Seth Sinovic, and praised both of them for their work on that side of the pitch.
“With Seth, Roger and I on the left it’s a good combination for us,” he said, “with all being left-footed and all being in our natural positions.
“Seth’s just a solid left back. He doesn’t make many mistakes,” added Convey, who chafed in the left back spot while with the Earthquakes. “Obviously, Roger keeps possession. He plays kind of the same style that I do, that kind of Latin style – keep it and possess, one or two touches, doesn’t make too many mistakes. It’s a really good combination.”
Espinoza took the comparison as high praise.
“We all know what he has done for soccer,” Espinoza said Tuesday at the team’s annual media day. “Anything he wants to do, he does the right way. He brings that experience to the team and he brings that calmness to everybody. As you can see from that last game, he keeps good possession of the ball and rarely loses it. That’s good for our team.
“I’m definitely trying to be like him, obviously. He’s a player who’s done a lot. That’s someone you want to listen to.”
Steve Brisendine covers Sporting Kansas City for MLSsoccer.com. Write to him at firstname.lastname@example.org