Bobby Convey

From Academic Kids

Bobby Convey (born May 27, 1983 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania) is an American soccer player who currently plays midfielder for Reading in the English Football League Championship.

Bobby was a member of the initial class of the Bradenton Academy that also included Landon Donovan and DaMarcus Beasley. Together they helped lead the Under-17 Squad to finish fourth in the 1999 U-17 World Cup in New Zealand.

Convey became famous when he was drafed in 2000 by the soccer club D.C. United of Major League Soccer. That year he was the youngest player ever signed by Major League Soccer. Convey was originally slotted to play the majority of the season with the Project-40 squad, however, as United faltered he was called upon by United to step in and perform almost immediately. He played 22 games for the United in 2000, starting 18 of those. Convey entered his first game in United's 4-0 loss to the Los Angeles Galaxy in the home opener at Robert F. Kennedy Stadium on March 25, 2000 and was awarded his first start in United's 2-1 loss at Columbus' on May 3, 2000. It was not until July 4 of 2000 against the Colorado Rapids that Convey served up Raul Diaz Arce at the far post for a header past a helpless David Kramer. The teen also was impressive against Premier League side Newcastle United, when the Magpies visited D.C. during a preseason training stint in the U.S. Convey's two assists and high work rate during that friendly were enough to draw the attention of Newcastle's famed manager Bobby Robson.

In subsequent years United has signed other record setting younsters to their roster. In 2001 MLS and United signed Santino Quaranta, who at 16 years, four months of age, became the youngest player ever drafted by MLS (eclipsing Bobby Convey by four months). In April 2004, United's then 14-year-old Freddy Adu became the youngest professional player in United States major league sport history since 1887.

On July 22, 2004, Major League Soccer transferred Convey to Reading, who play in the English Football League Championship, the second level of the English pyramid. In five seasons in MLS, Convey finished with eight goals and 16 assists. The start of his career in England lacked distinction, as Convey could not play his way into Reading's first team.

Convey received his first cap for the senior United States national team on October 25, 2000 against Mexico, becoming the third youngest player in US history to do so. As of the end of 2004, he has amassed 26 caps and scored one goal for the US. He captained the Under-20 team at the 2003 World Youth Championship in the UAE.

Bobby is partially blind in his left eye due to optic nerve damage.


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