The average tenure of a San Jose Earthquakes captain is beginning to look as short as the life expectancy of a Spinal Tap drummer.
It’s no laughing matter, however, that the Quakes will have to make do without Bobby Convey this weekend in Houston. Convey, who had been San Jose’s third captain in four matches, will serve a one-game suspension for yellow-card accumulation after taking down Dane Richards in the 56th minute of the Quakes’ 2-0 loss to New York last Saturday.
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“It’s very disappointing because I thought Bobby was outstanding [on Saturday] … and he’ll be missed,” Quakes coach Frank Yallop told MLSsoccer.com. “But we’ve got to move on and deal with it.”
Yallop didn’t have an immediate idea of what he would do to replace Convey, who has been filling in at left back for the Quakes’ original captain, Ramiro Corrales.
Corrales suffered a knee sprain against Colorado on Aug. 7 and was expected at that time to miss four to six weeks. Jason Hernandez took over for Corrales as captain, but was red-carded in his first game wearing the arm band, leading to a two-game suspension and Convey inheriting the captaincy.
The absences of Corrales and Convey leave Yallop with few options at left back. Tim Ward has some experience there but has played exclusively on the right since joining San Jose earlier this month. Rookie Justin Morrow has trained there, but has only played 46 minutes in MLS on the year.
More importantly, Convey has been the Quakes’ best player over the first 20 matches. He has nine assists, primarily playing on the left side of midfield, and hasn’t missed a minute of play since being benched at halftime of the season opener. His work rate has been impeccable.
“I thought he did an exceptional job [against New York],” Quakes center back Bobby Burling said. “Dane Richards is probably one of the fastest guys in the league and is always a threat. I thought Bobby made some fine tackles on several occasions, even playing with the yellow.”
Naturally, Convey’s colleagues thought the call was too harsh. But that’s unlikely to overturn the decision of Silviu Petrescu, who carded Convey despite the fact that he used his right foot to cleanly knock away a lead pass intended for Richards. Convey, unable to stop his momentum, clipped Richards a second later with his left foot, leading to the foul.
“It was never a yellow card,” Yallop said. “We can fight it all we want, they won’t rescind it and he’s going to be suspended.”
Geoff Lepper covers the Earthquakes for MLSsoccer.com. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. On Twitter: @sjquakes.