One-on-One with Bobby Convey
Despite his age, Bobby Convey has amassed a wealth of experience at the international level. The 20 year old is a veteran of the 1999 World Youth Championships in Nigeria for the U-17's, and appeared in the 2001 WYC in Argentina for the U-20's. This year, he captained the U-20's to qualification for the 2003 WYC to be held in November in the UAE. Already with 16 caps for the MNT, Convey has made the most appearances (13) of any player in 2003.
ussoccer.com: You didn't play against Cuba, ending your streak as the only player to appear in all 13 matches for the MNT in 2003. Bummed?
Bobby Convey: "No, I'm not bummed. Obviously, when you dont' play a game, you're not too excited about it. Hopefully I'll play in the next game and start a new streak.
ussoccer.com: You must be pleased with all the chances you've had to train and play with the MNT this year ...
BC: "It's a great thing. I'm happy to get all the experience. It will certainly help me when we go into qualifying next year to have this number of caps, and to play against such a wide variety of opponents."
ussoccer.com: You have played all over the park this year for the U.S., from left back to right midfielder and spots in between. Where do you feel most comfortable?
BC: Obviously, playing on the left side is where I feel most comfortable. We have such great central midfielders in Claudio, John O'Brien, Pablo, and Chris Armas, that I think it will be hard to unseat them. If I have to play left back, I will. As long as I'm on the field for the national team, I'm happy."
ussoccer.com: Has Bruce Arena discussed with you his plans about your position?
BC: "He definitely feels comfortable with the players we have at left midfield. With this team, the left back position is open and he wants me to try and play there. That's also probably my best chance of starting. So I want to get used to the position, and try to keep learning. I'm getting more comfortable, but obviously it's not that easy of a transition going from attacking midfield to left back. You have to get used to playing with the center backs, learning how to set the line, etc. The last few months in training have really helped."
ussoccer.com: You're rooming with Frankie Hejduk on this trip. Tell us something we dont' know about him....
BC: "He has his own little California language, and he says 'dude' in every sentence. All he wants to do is teach me how to surf."
ussoccer.com: Your first start with the senior national team came against Brazil in 2001. What was the experience like?
BC: "Well, I was 17 years old at the time. The game was out in L.A., and there were like 60,000 people there. The match was broadcast live on ESPN, and I had to mark Cafu. That's a nice way to get your first start."
ussoccer.com: Have you been reading Carlos Bocanegra's "Off the Ball" columns? Think he's got another career ahead of him?
BC: "I haven't read all of them, but I've heard a lot the interviews, and I've done two myself. It's a good way for him to ask questions that people wouldn't know about us. But I don't think Carlos is ever going to be a journalist."