Bobby Convey was brought on in 2011 as a new forward for Sporting Kansas City in hopes that he could be an asset on the wing and provide a lot of service for the goal-scorers.
In 2012, however, Convey was riddled with injuries and his play suffered because of it. However, Sporting was able to make due on the wing with Kei Kamara and Graham Zusi doing well.
This year, however, Convey has been sitting on the bench mainly because CJ Sapong has beaten him out at his position. With the signing of Claudio Bieler at center forward, Sapong was able to move out to the wing and has been performing well, even though he is yet to score this season.
So Convey has been a high-priced bench player that hasn't seen much playing time going back to his opening day start in Philadelphia. The question now becomes should Sporting be willing to pay for Convey to sit on the bench as Sapong and Zusi perform well on the wing?
There are two sides to this coin. First of all, Convey is a fantastic person to have as forward depth. For early US Open Cup matches and the group stages of the CONCACAF Champions League, Sporting KC will need some good depth on the wings in order to keep their strong, attacking style in those matches.
Then, of course, there is always the possibility of injury. If, God forbid, Zusi or Sapong were to go down for a significant amount of time, Convey is a very good person to have to step into the forward position and perform at a decent pace.
There is a near-guarantee that Graham Zusi will be called up in the summer for national team duty either for World Cup qualification or for the 2013 Gold Cup. In a case like this, having the option to have Convey step in for those few games is a nice option to have.
On the flip side, it can be argued that Convey is inferior to his teammates on the bench, and that there are other, better options. Soony Saad is the first name that comes to mind and, because of his start over Convey when Zusi was called up in March for national team duty, may give us reason to believe that Vermes prefers Saad over Convey.
That may be true and Saad also has an advantage because of his youth. This year, Soony Saad will turn 21, whereas Convey will turn 30. Saad has so much potential whereas Convey is at his peak. It really makes sense to give Saad more playing time so he can continue to gain game experience and realize his potential.
So where does that leave Convey? Appearing in non-league matches at a very high price? Unfortunately, yes. The problem with Convey is that he is just too expensive to play as little as he as played. Sporting could save a lot of money by finding a cheap forward and using the rest of the money to possibly dissuade current Sporting players such as Graham Zusi and Matt Besler if the bright lights of Europe ever call them.
A restructuring of Convey's contract to reflect his playing time would be the best case solution since he is still a very good player. It's just not in Sporting's best interests to pay so highly for a player that does not play very much.