Midfielder Bobby Convey and defender Ryan Nelsen both made the jump from DC United to the English leagues last year and have had quite different experiences. Bobby Convey left for first division club Reading, hoping to help the club earn promotion to the premier league. Despite high expectations, he has found himself sitting on the bench and playing in reserve matches for the most part. In an interview at Yanks Abroad, Convey talks about playing overseas, staying motivated, and how that’s helped him to mature.
I think it has helped me because I have grown as a person and have become mentally stronger by having to deal with for the first time in my soccer career not playing.
I have realized what is most important in my life and how much I appreciate playing a sport for my career and I don’t think the last year in DC United I appreciated the support I had and was selfish.
On the other hand, after helping United win the MLS cup last fall, Ryan Nelsen left for Blackburn Rovers on a free transfer. Despite an offer to make him one of the highest paid defenders stateside, going to England was clearly a more lucrative and challenging option. He immediately solidified his new club’s defense and earned the praise of his manager. Now, Rovers want to extend Nelsen’s contract, only six months after joining.
The 27-year-old New Zealand skipper has earned rave reviews as by helping Rovers to eight clean sheets in his 12 matches, even at such intimidating venues as Old Trafford and Anfield.