Family, winning drive Bobby Convey To Red Bulls

IMAGE, MLSSOCCER.COM

BY NICK CHAVEZ
Staff Writer

Bobby Convey at Red Bull Arena. For many Red Bulls fans, the thought still makes their skin crawl.

Convey’s 2010 playoff performance, scoring twice and assisting the game-winning goal, personally punched New York’s postseason exit ticket.

Now, New York fans will be chanting his name on a week-in and week-out basis.

At the end of the 2013 MLS season, Toronto offered the former US international a contract to stay at the Canadian club. Other clubs even presented more lucrative offers. But for Convey, money didn’t stand atop of his priorities at this point of his career. Instead, he chose to come to New York for less money to be closer to his family and to play on a winning team

“As you get older and play for a while, you kind of become way less selfish,” Convey says. “I think when I was younger, I was a little bit more selfish and you kind of want your own career to take off.” Convey’s family lives in Philadelphia – just a ninety minute drive down I-95, and Convey looks forward to them making the quick trek to Red Bull Arena to cheer him on with the rest of the Red Bulls faithful. Already, he had the opportunity to have dinner with his mother on Thursday night – an occasion that was considered nearly impossible throughout most of his career. In May of this year, he will have one more supporter rooting for him as the 30-year-old is expecting a baby boy, magnifying his need to be closer to home.

In addition to his family, Convey has an equally important reason for coming to New York – winning.

“I know that the players will be rotated here, there are good players, and I just want to win,” he says. “That’s why I came here … [To] be closer to my family, be on a winning team, and play with good players — that’s kind of what you want throughout your career and that’s where I’m at.”

Despite a dormant offseason, Convey will have to look no further than New York if he wants to find quality teammates. The Red Bulls’ roster features many experienced footballers with exceptional resumes – Thierry Henry, Tim Cahill, Dax McCarty, Jonny Steele, Péguy Luyindula and Jamison Olave just to name a few. With his experience, Convey will be a proper fit.

The former Reading player enters a radically different New York team from years past as head coach Mike Petke has manifested a club culture which the players have personified on the field. Petke is no stranger to Convey either, having played together for DC United. In fact, the newcomer appreciates that the Red Bulls are coached by the Bohemia native, and hopes that recognition carries their relationship forward on the right foot.

“It’s good that Mike [Petke] is the coach here and he knows me, he knows how I’ve changed,” he says. “I’m married now, I’m going to have a baby – it’s a completely different person from when I was making mistakes as a teenager.”