Midfielder tied for 2nd in MLS with 8 assists

Bobby Convey knows anonymity can have its benefits. It's also been rare for the San Jose midfielder since he joined D.C. United 10 years ago at the age of 16.

After 4 1/2 seasons in Washington, he jumped across the Atlantic Ocean to Reading FC, helping them get promoted from the League Championship to the English Premier League, and he played all three matches for the U.S. in the 2006 World Cup.

"Every single person, wherever you go, the entire town knows who you are, what you do, how the team is doing," Convey said. "You don't have as much freedom. It really takes over your life."

MLS All-Star GameManchester United vs. MLS All-StarsWhere » Reliant Stadium, HoustonWhen » Wednesday, 8:30 p.m.TV » ESPN2

Back stateside in his second season with the Earthquakes since returning to Major League Soccer after half a decade in England, Convey has enjoyed the respite from the constant scrutiny. A far cry from the precocious teenager he once was, he's now 27 years old and married, the leader of an underrated club and one of the league's most productive midfielders, tied for second in MLS with eight assists.

Yet somehow, he was left off the initial MLS All-Star roster. Thanks to an open spot as an injury replacement, Convey still found his way to Houston, where the MLS All-Stars will face Manchester United on Wednesday.

"I'm just trying to pick up from when I was fully fit and able to play in England," said Convey, who averaged only 3-4 weeks off during his five years abroad and had to fight through multiple knee surgeries. "It's really coming together this year, and I'm happy with how I've done. I'm just trying to lead by example and just play how I can, and do what I can do."

That also would include not worrying about the U.S. national team, to which he's become an afterthought. With his current stretch of form, it might be hard to ignore him in the future.

"I'm not thinking, 'I wish I could be with the national team,'" said Convey, who has made 45 international appearances. "I'm just focusing on week in and week out. If I play on the national team again, that's great. If not, I'm happy with the success I've had."