- The Washington Times - Friday, March 24, 2006

The U.S. national team lost 4-1 to three-time world champion Germany on Wednesday, but former D.C. United midfielder Bobby Convey played well enough to prove he belongs on the American World Cup team, which will be named by coach Bruce Arena by May 15.

The United States held Germany scoreless for the first half before the American backline collapsed, but Convey, 22, had a good performance with some good passes despite fading late in the game.

“In the first half, we took it to them and did alright and affected them a little,” Convey said. “When the crowd booed them off the field at halftime, it was respect for us.”

Convey, who plays for Reading FC in England, has matured playing overseas and looks more confident. The midfielder, who joined United when he was just 16 in 2000, was not afraid to run at the big German defense on the left flank and stood out among the Americans. His work at the club level in England also hasn’t gone unnoticed.

In the April issue of Britain’s FourFourTwo, Convey was listed No. 10 in the magazine’s “50 Best Players in the Football League” — the three divisions below the English Premier League (EPL). Convey is noted as the “best wide man in the Championship” for the pinpoint accuracy of his crosses.

Convey’s American teammate at Reading, goalie Marcus Hahnemann, came in at No. 14 in the list. Both Convey and Hahnemann will be celebrating today if Reading wins at Leicester City. With a win, the Royals will assure promotion to the EPL for the first time in the club’s 135-year history. It will be extra sweet for Convey, whose trade from United to EPL club Tottenham Hotspur fell through in 2003 when he failed to get a work permit.

Convey has notched seven goals in 39 games with Reading this season. In four seasons with United, he scored eight goals in 89 games.

The American team, which is ranked No. 5, has four World Cup warmups left — all at home: No. 45 Jamaica (April 11 at Cary, N.C.), No. 37 Morocco (May 23 at Nashville, Tenn.), No. 70 Venezuela (May 26 at Cleveland) and No. 68 Latvia (May 28 at East Hartford, Conn.).

Just in

Word has it that EPL champion Chelsea will be heading back to the United States this summer to play South Korea’s Suwon Samsung Bluewings, probably in the Los Angeles area.

The inaugural Women’s Peace Cup, following in the footsteps of the successful men’s events in 2003 and 2005, will be Oct. 28 to Nov. 4 in South Korea, with eight national teams: Korea, South Korea, Denmark, Italy, Brazil, Australia, Nigeria and the United States.

No to Maradona

Some folks in England are unhappy that the BBC, Britain’s taxpayer-supported television network, is paying former Argentine star Diego Maradona $87,000 for an interview with BBC presenter and former England ace Gary Lineker.

Maradona used his hand to score a goal and destroy England’s World Cup chances in 1986.

Brits pay $221 a household for a TV license each year.

F.A. Cup

EPL giants Chelsea and Liverpool will face each other in the semifinals of the F.A. Cup next month. This will be the fifth meeting this season between the teams, who have met twice in the EPL and twice in the Champions League. The winner will play the winner of the matchup between West Ham and Charlton or Middlesbrough in the F.A. Cup final May 13.

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