HARRISON, N.J. — It's hard to believe that Bobby Convey turned 28 years old this past May. The versatile San Jose Earthquakes winger has seemingly been on the scene forever — from a teenage career to the World Cup and now a savvy veteran with the Quakes, Convey is quietly enjoying yet another year of success in MLS.
Last season, Convey was a part of the MLS All-Star side that fell to Manchester United 5-2 in Houston.
It was a difficult game for the All-Stars against a team that went on to claim the English Premier League title and battled its way to the final of the Champions League. This year, Convey gets a different sense around the MLS side and feels that the performance will be markedly better.
“This team’s actually way better than last year,” Convey said. “This year, Hans [Backe, All-Star head coach] has done a good job with what shape we’re going to play, a little bit of tactics.”
Convey, of course, burst onto the scene in 2000 as the youngest player ever signed by MLS and made his All-Star debut a year later. His play with D.C. United led to regular appearances on the national team and from there, Convey spent more than five seasons in England with Reading, including making 29 appearances in the English Premier League. His return to MLS in 2009 saw him become a fixture of San Jose as both a winger and a left back.
A little more than a week ago, Backe called Earthquakes head coach Frank Yallop to let him know that he wanted to select Convey for the game. While it isn’t old hat for the Philadelphia native, the midfielder took another All-Star Game selection in stride.
“It’s a great thing, I’m glad," Convey said. "For me, I just try to get better every year. For me, obviously, it’s always great to get rewards. Hopefully this all will continue.”
And hopefully it continues on Wednesday night. The team dynamic over the All-Star squad last year is better and more balanced, according to Convey. Last year, he felt that the All-Star squad selection was slanted towards the attack too much and he appreciates the defensive balance that Backe has included in the team this year.
“The league did it right allowing the coach to pick the best players for the best position, instead of picking 10 forwards like [they] did last year,” Convey said.
Kristian R. Dyer can be followed at twitter.com/KristianRDyer