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Last Updated: Tuesday, 30 May 2006, 15:55 GMT 16:55 UK
Convey's American dream
By Dan Warren

Reading and USA winger Bobby Convey
Convey has 25 caps for the USA with one goal to his name
He may be young and have a long future ahead of him - but Reading and USA winger Bobby Convey admits he will be hard pressed to better the 2005-06 season.

The 23-year-old has been a regular in Reading's Championship title-winning side and Convey is now turning his focus to the summer's World Cup.

The American winger told BBC Sport that the past few months have been a dream come true.

"It has been my best-ever season," he said.

"I'm only 23, but to be able to help my team get promoted to the Premiership after such a long season, then having the World Cup right after is a dream.

"They're two goals I set when I started playing and I never thought I'd be able to achieve them in the same year."

Despite his relative youth, Convey speaks with remarkable maturity.

It's nice to be in Europe because there's a big football culture over here
Bobby Convey
That has no doubt helped the Philadelphia-born player adjust to living and working in a foreign continent.

But Convey said he was pleased to be somewhere where the World Cup was a creating a buzz.

"In a way, it's quite nice to be in Europe because there's a big football culture over here, certainly in England," he said.

"In the US it's not quite such as big a deal. If you look at our game at Sheffield United in February, we were playing in front of more than 25,000 people in the division below the Premiership.

"When I played in Major League Soccer, I played at one of the better teams, DC United, and we probably had 18,000 supporters at the most.

"America can't really be compared to Europe yet because the league is 10 years old and the fanbase is still growing. Over time it hopefully will get as big as it is over here.

"But it is great to be over here, where everything is geared towards to World Cup. In the US, it's just another big tournament."

Convey has been tipped for success since being named US young male athlete of the year in 2002 and becoming the youngest-ever player in MLS when he signed for DC United in 2000 aged just 16.

He is already some way to fulfilling his potential, having won 25 international caps and netted one goal for the USA.

But even though football is not a mainstream sport in America, the country has been rising in the Fifa rankings for many years and, indeed, has been a fixture in the top 10 for the past 13 months.

GROUP E - THE GROUP OF DEATH?
Czech Republic
Fifa ranking 2
USA
Fifa ranking 5
Italy
Fifa ranking 13
Ghana
Fifa ranking 48
(* Rankings correct at May 2006)
But Convey is under no illusions about the size of the task facing his team in Group E where they will face the Czech Republic, Italy and Ghana.

"Everyone is saying we have the group of death," he said.

"We have four very good teams in our group - it's going to be on the day who's mentally and physically stronger than the other teams.

"That's going to be the key. Hopefully we won't have many injuries and will do well.

"We'll go into the group games knowing we're going to play tough teams and with luck, we can advance."

Despite the anticipation and hunger for success, Convey knows that this season has already more than lived up to his expectations following Reading's promotion.

"The World Cup is something that you dream about playing in, just like the Premiership," he said.

"I'm excited about it. It's always good to represent your country at any level and to represent your country at a World Cup is an amazing thing."



SEE ALSO
USA team guide
22 May 06 |  USA
Royals ascent
25 Mar 06 |  Reading


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