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Quakes close in on Convey
by Ridge Mahoney, February 5th, 2009 7AM



[MLS] During a training session at the Oakland Coliseum Wednesday, Quakes general manager John Doyle tried not to confirm that midfielder Bobby Convey is headed to San Jose. He succeeded, and failed, at the same time.

"The league's trying to sign him and they're working very hard on that," said Doyle. "I think there's not many issues in play. That's what I'm not trying to tell you and I'm also not trying to tell you that he'll play in the middle of midfield. That's the coach's decision."

A check with the league office confirmed no deal had been struck for Convey, yet the pieces appear to be in place for his return to MLS more than four years after leaving the league and D.C. United as a free agent.

Convey has played nine league and cup games this season after appearing 24 times for Reading during the 2007-08 campaign when it was relegated from the Premier League. He had played 12 EPL games in the 2006-07 season, which followed a spectacular run by Reading that netted it the 2005-06 League Championship (second division) crown sparked by Convey's dynamic attacking play that netted him seven goals.

Convey aggravated a knee injury playing for the USA at the 2006 World Cup and suffered another setback the following March when his bothersome knee required follow-up surgery. A leg injury last fall sidelined him again and despite declaring himself fully fit he's played only twice since recovering.

When he signed with MLS in 1999, Convey, then 16, was the youngest player the league had signed. He made his league debut in 2000 and played 84 regular-season games, scoring eight goals and registering 14 assists, before leaving midway through the 2004 season to join Reading.

"I'm just waiting for the green light," says Quakes coach Frank Yallop. "He's there, but we have to make sure he's going to sign. Until John tells me he's signed, he's not with us.

"Until we get a phone call, we don't know. We've said we wanted him, and he's said he wants to sign with the league, so we're waiting for it to be sorted out.

"It's exciting, because I think Bobby will be good. He's a good player."

Convey, assuming he comes to MLS, is one of many changes - some of them still pending - in store for the Quakes. Former USL-1 Seattle Sounder striker Cam Weaver is expected to arrive Thursday, Antiguan striker Peter Byers is training with the team as his acquisition is finalized,  former Crew and Galaxy midfielder Simon Elliott is in camp vying for a spot, and rookie midfielder Brad Ring, selected in the SuperDraft last month, trained with the team for the first time Wednesday.

Deals to acquire two other international players are moving forward but Doyle offered few details.

The GM also implied Convey wouldn't be a Designated Player and said getting him on those terms "would be a pretty good deal."

"He's healthy and raring to go," says Doyle.

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