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Bobby Convey and Chris Wondolowski lead San Jose Earthquakes to MLS Eastern Conference final

By Steve Goff

Read that headline again. Let it sink in for a moment. From beginning to end, none of it seems to make sense.

Bobby Convey: A D.C. United teen idol long before Freddy Adu arrived, returned to MLS from England last year and had zero impact in '09.

Chris Wondolowski: A largely anonymous reserve for Houston for four years before joining San Jose in '09 and erupting for 18 goals and the Golden Boot this season.

San Jose Earthquakes: A bad team the previous two campaigns and the lowest seed in this year's playoffs.

Eastern Conference final: Oh, never mind. We all know by now why San Jose is playing in the East.

And let's not forget about goalkeeper Jon Busch, who was waived by Chicago early this year and, after competing for the starting job in San Jose much of the season, became the full-time selection when Joe Cannon went down with a broken ankle in August.

With a 3-1 victory over the New York Red Bulls on Thursday, the Earthquakes won the first-round series on a 3-2 aggregate, rebounding from a home loss last week. They'll go on the road next week to face the Columbus Crew or Colorado Rapids for the Eastern title. As for the Red Bulls, with prized recruits Thierry Henry (how did he miss that late header?) and Rafael Marquez, the trophy drought continues.

The match highlights last several minutes but are worth every second, no matter who you were supporting:

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By Steve Goff  | November 5, 2010; 12:46 AM ET
Categories:  MLS  | Tags:  MLS  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Video: Bobby Convey's early goal for San Jose Earthquakes at New York Red Bulls
Next: Friday kickaround: Olave is MLS top defender, USA women in Mexico, Salgado in D.C., Rooney in Oregon, Americans in Europe, Terrapins in action


Any one see scumbag Marquez go up for a header and intentionally kick out at the SJ player late in the game? That deserves a 5 game suspension to start next year if not more. Can't stand that guy!!! Did he ever act like this with Barcelona???

Posted by: LAfanofSI | November 5, 2010 2:21 AM | Report abuse

That was just a darn good soccer game.

Posted by: JacobfromAtlanta-ish | November 5, 2010 4:11 AM | Report abuse

Redbull will never win the cup as long as the try to carry New York like a cross... Call your team New Jersey Redbull and the Soccer God's will forgive you...not for singing Henery but for the Name mix up...

Posted by: kdouble | November 5, 2010 6:43 AM | Report abuse

Fantastic game. Convey was incredible and not shedding any tears over the Red Bulls loss.

Posted by: Beckster1 | November 5, 2010 6:50 AM | Report abuse

I made to the half...then watched the condensed version early this morning...and did a dance in my kitchen. Awesome awesome job by SJ.

When will DCU be part of something exciting? When we will we have nail-biter games that entertain from start to finish?

Posted by: DCB23 | November 5, 2010 7:50 AM | Report abuse

San Jose: This year's RSL? They're coming from the same seed position.

I stand corrected on my attendence prediction for Harrison. Excellent turn-out, (over 22K announced). Maybe the NY/NJ franchise that MLS has spent some much time and effort developing has turned the corner on that important subject.

Frank Yallop: Another commodity that DCU let get away.

Bobby Convey: KP was so blinded in his judgement of Convey, allowing him to live at this home; arranging tutors, allowing him to date his daughter. He was determined to get him an EPL contract in spite of underachieving performance. He put the entire DCU technical staff to work assembling video, organizing health report, collecting press reports to support his argument that his ward deserved approrval to play in England. He was a negative force under TR, Ray, and Piotr.

In 2004 in order to find a spot for Christian, Bobby had to go first. Remember the "Farewell" game at RFK in 2003, when he was honored at halftime? Bobby got redcarded in the 2nd half. Shortly afterward his transfer to Tottenham fell through and he awkwardly returned to DCU.

Piotr had to name him to the MLS All-Star team in 2004 in spite of no goals, zero, because he felt pressure to not mess up his still-alive tranfer prospects.

It was a dog's lunch.

Posted by: lgm6986 | November 5, 2010 7:50 AM | Report abuse

NYRB Haaaaaaaaaa-haaaaa haaaaa-haaa. Can't stop laughing. (I know United sux but this helps.)

Posted by: 9Nine9 | November 5, 2010 7:55 AM | Report abuse

I wasn't ready for the season to end. Really bummed. Well, that was a lot more fun than last year.

Posted by: Crewgrrl20 | November 5, 2010 8:06 AM | Report abuse

Looks like Marquez is pulling a Lothar Matteus on NYRB...he is such a d-bag and it couldn't have happended to a better team!

Posted by: moupper90 | November 5, 2010 8:10 AM | Report abuse

To carry something over for Ron16

Yes, I say it was played at a high level. Was it Tottenham-Arsenal? No. It's MLS. For MLS, that was a very high level of play. And to say it was no better than high school ball is just silly. Just cause Agudelo is high school aged (boy I can't wait to see him in a couple weeks down here), doesn't mean he plays like a high school kid. The buildup on his shot that went off the post was lightning quick (save for Richards holding the ball one touch too long), and looked as good as anything you'll see. Those were two teams playing a fun, fast, exciting, skillful game.

Quit the Europhiling and enjoy our fine domestic league.

And don't bring up attendance either, announced over 22k (with some empty seats, sure) but that atmosphere was incredible for 90 minutes to boot.

Posted by: JacobfromAtlanta-ish | November 5, 2010 8:53 AM | Report abuse

I was happy for Convey...then I saw that they eliminated NYRB, and I couldn't be happier (seriously, I've had zero interest in the playoffs this season).

Posted by: Reignking | November 5, 2010 8:59 AM | Report abuse

Posted by: Reignking | November 5, 2010 9:01 AM | Report abuse

So lgm, you're saying that Convey's performance now makes Payne look good after all, right? Same old same old Kevin Payne hagiography from lgm.

Posted by: fallschurch1 | November 5, 2010 9:02 AM | Report abuse

Another team of castoffs and misfits from the San Francisco Bay area? What's in the water out there??

Posted by: BaltoFan | November 5, 2010 9:07 AM | Report abuse

One Question - Was Red Bull's loss last night the savior of SuperLiga? Clearly we cannot allow Red Bull (Henry, Marquez, Xavi...jk) to miss out on international competition now that they cannot earn a spot in CCL...

Posted by: VirginiaBlueBlood | November 5, 2010 9:11 AM | Report abuse

Funniest part of the night: Harkes ranking on Marquez, "this is supposed to be their DP?" True, and funny.

Posted by: jojosbo | November 5, 2010 9:23 AM | Report abuse

Posted by: Reignking | November 5, 2010 9:28 AM | Report abuse

Falls Church;

I'm not sure that I am saying that; if you want to infer that from my remarks, that's your option. I'm saying what I wrote, which was a little history on the CF that was Bobby's stint at DCU and KP's pivital role in it, all assembled from my point of view.

As for "hagiography," sarcasm WITH standing, likewise it's all my point of view, which is what this blog is all about.

Posted by: lgm6986 | November 5, 2010 9:32 AM | Report abuse

This is just icing on the Giants' Series win. Man, Wondo has just come out of nowhere. Seems to me like Henry was trying to put too much power on that header to cause it to go over. I'm still waiting for my childhood Skins and O's to get it together, but their ownership continues to kill those teams.

Not sure what's in the water out here, but it does come from Hetch Hetchy near Yosemite and tastes great. Might also be something in the smoke, despite Prop 19's loss. ;-)

I know Goff's bro is out here. Wonder if he is riding the bandwagon like I am.

Vamos Gigantes! Vamos Terremotos!

Posted by: EssEff | November 5, 2010 9:36 AM | Report abuse

How Thierry Henry did miss a header?!

Keep in mind this is the same player who scored about 100 professional goals with his feet before his first off a header.

Posted by: neil_g | November 5, 2010 9:46 AM | Report abuse

Great game. Bobby Convey deserved to be the MVP of the game. John Bush is some goalie.

Posted by: VirginiaFan | November 5, 2010 10:08 AM | Report abuse

The 22K announcement sounds awfully fishy. I saw lots of empty seats, even at midfield where you could see parts of the golden bull painted onto the seats.

That said, it was still a great atmosphere, which just shows what a nice stadium RBA is. Imagine that game at Dallas or Colorado.

Really hoping Columbus pulls it out, so that we don't have to see an empty stadium in Commerce City next week.

Posted by: jofij | November 5, 2010 10:12 AM | Report abuse

the weather was abysmal in the NYC area all day - cold and rainy - so i'm sure that kept a lot of ticket holders at home. was hoping there might be another game just so i could go in person, but i guess i'll have to settle for the Big East Championships next weekend.

wishing that Columbus loses just so that there are no Eastern teams left and we can end this East/West farce once and for all. after the past 3 years of #8 seeds winning in the opposite conference, it should make the MLS Execs realize how dumb it looks. single table, top 8 teams make the playoffs.

Posted by: dimesmakedollars | November 5, 2010 10:23 AM | Report abuse

I can't wait to see the TV ratings for the RSL/San Jose MLS Cup!
LA + NY = Casual fans...that possibility is down the drain.
MLS execs are weeping.

Posted by: icehippo | November 5, 2010 10:37 AM | Report abuse

BTW, I do know that LA is still in it...but the dream final from MLS's perspective is gone.

Posted by: icehippo | November 5, 2010 10:50 AM | Report abuse

Nothing pleases me more than the Red Bulls losing.

Posted by: rockotodd | November 5, 2010 11:43 AM | Report abuse

There is hope for DCU next year with the trend of zero to hero in under a year. That assumes of course that the DCU front office can recreate what RSL and SJ have done (not holding breath).

It was a great game to watch last night especially watching NYRB's high priced talent stink up the place. Agudelo was very impressive.

Posted by: tcbannon | November 5, 2010 12:29 PM | Report abuse

i thought RBs played a pretty good game overall. Marquez was given acres of space to operate in and they were producing lots of chances - crosses, passes into the box, etc. but coudn't finish anything. a couple of times i thought they missed or were late in recognizing some opportunities to put guys through or pull a pass back to an open man (Angel) from the end line. and Ream, for as good as he's been all year, got abused by Convey on goal #2, while Coundoul went too low, too fast and probably could have saved it.

could we get a Dallas-SJ final that mirrors the Rangers-Giants World Series? that would be ratings poison, though i assume the Toronto fans would still show up for it.

Posted by: dimesmakedollars | November 5, 2010 1:07 PM | Report abuse

Did Henry not start? If not, why?

Posted by: WorldCup | November 5, 2010 2:08 PM | Report abuse

Maybe it's finally time to recall Convey. He seems healthy, motivated, and very effective in a position we need: LEFT BACK. Don't like the idea? Bornstein. Think he's been a failure for the Nats? Not as much as Beasley, and his frame his better designed for the left back position.

Posted by: UnitedDemon1 | November 5, 2010 2:46 PM | Report abuse

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