HARRISON, NJ (November 4, 2010) - Robert Francis "Bobby" Convey, the on again, off-again, American star, remembered that he still has game and went on to score two goals and serve an assist to propel the San Jose Earthquakes to the MLS Eastern Conference Championship.
Convey, the former D.C. United 17-year-old rookie phenom, the youngest player drafted into MLS, now 27, looked fully recovered from recurring knee injuries. Convey did it all in this game and thoroughly outshined the high profile New York Red Bulls "Galacticos," Thierry Henry, Juan Pablo Angel and Rafael Marquez. Convey scored two brilliant goals (6th and 76th minute), and made a skillful lob into the penalty area that allowed to Chris Wondolowski (81st minute) to head the ball over Bouna Coundoul.
San Jose went on to win the second leg of the series, 3-1.
The one bright spot for New York Red Bull was the play of 17 year-old Colombian American striker Juan Agudelo, who displayed tremendous dribbling skills, speed and guile. At the 78th minute, Agudelo penetrated the penalty area on the left side, dribbled past a defender, and sent a beautifully weighted lob to Angel who headed the ball into the San Jose net to make the score, 1-2.
Unfortunately for the Red Bulls, the effort was too little and too late.
French international Thierry Henry entered the game late into the match with only 10 minutes remaining and had a couple of chances that he thoroughly botched. Mexican star defender Rafael Marquez had a sub-par performance with marked inconsistency and mental lapses that contributed to the first San Jose goal.
Angel scored one goal and played with heart and determination, but was dismal on direct free kicks and lacked any creativity.
At the end, the Earthquakes workmen’s like performance, patience and determination, coupled with the brilliant play of Convey, was enough to eliminate the Red Bulls, 3-2 on aggregate (New York Red Bulls won the first match in San Jose, 1-0).
Convey seems to have returned to top form and reminded fans of the level he is capable of reaching. As American fans surely recall, Convey at one point came close to joining Tottenham Hotspur of the Premier League back in 2003 when the London club agreed to pay a $3 million transfer to MLS, but the transfer stalled when his work permit application was denied due to his lack of appearances with the senior U.S. national team.
San Jose will play the winner of the series between the Columbus Crew and Colorado Rapids.