TORONTO – With Toronto FC looking to end the season on a positive note, head coach Ryan Nelsen’s squad has received a boost this week with the return of veteran MLS winger Bobby Convey to active duty.
He’ll be on the pitch for the Reds when they play host to Canadian rival Montreal Impact at BMO Field on Saturday (4 pm ET; TSN/RDS in Canada, MLS Live in US).
The 30-year-old midfielder did not travel with the club for TFC’s match last Saturday in Chicago, and his absence was one of the contributing factors as the Reds failed to get on the scoreboard for the second game in a row in a 1-0 loss.
The addition of Convey and Spanish winger Alvaro Rey in the summer has greatly improved Toronto’s possession game and wide play in the second half of the season, with both players showing themselves to be attack-minded and capable of delivering quality balls into the opposition box.
Therefore, Convey's return is likely a welcome addition for a young TFC side that will be facing off against an Impact squad particularly intent on earning all three points and controlling their own playoff destiny.
“I feel good,” Convey told MLSsoccer.com. “Today was my second day back in training since the Philly game [on Oct. 5]. I think I will get a few more days in this week and I should be all right to play here in our last game.
“I sprained my ankle pretty bad in the game against Philadelphia and I wasn’t able to recover in time for our last game,” Convey added. “We tried to tape it and do different things, but it was pretty bad. The trainer wanted me to sit out and I think it was good move and it made sense. Now I have been able to train for a full week before a game instead of trying to train on a Friday and then maybe playing on a Saturday.”
Convey was also quick to admit that he is excited to play in his first Canadian derby match.
“Obviously with it being a Canadian rivalry it is always going to bring out a lot of people to the game,” he said. “So it’s going to be a good match. There are implications for them and for us. We have to do well, and we want to finish the season on a good note.”
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Asked to compare the Canadian derby between TFC and Montreal with previous rivalry matches that he has played in, including the California Clasico while with the San Jose Earthquakes, the former US international admitted that the temperature in Toronto in late October will probably give the game a different feel.
“The Canadian winter has definitely started here,” Convey said. “However, I think once you get in the game it doesn’t matter. You warm up pretty easily, so I think the weather will be tougher for the fans than for the players. It is more the wind than the cold that makes a difference.”