Davis relishing his first USMNT look in two years

By OMAR SHAMOUT

CARSON, Calif. – Houston Dynamo midfielder Brad Davis, 31, says he’s relishing his first U.S. men’s national team call up under Jurgen Klinsmann. The 2012 MLS MVP finalist earned his last cap under Bob Bradley in a 2010 friendly against El Salvador.

“The older you get the less opportunity that those things are possibly going to happen,” Davis said after camp on Thursday.

Despite his age, Davis says he feels healthier now than when he entered the league with the MetroStars in 2002. But he says there are certain changes between his club side and the national team that require adjustment on his part.

“It’s been difficult,” Davis said. “The pace is very high, but when we get back to our clubs we should be ready to go.”

Davis finds himself back in Southern California again after a 3-1 loss to the LA Galaxy in MLS Cup 2012 on Dec. 1. Davis described the tactical differences between coach Dominic Kinnear’s Houston team and Klinsmann’s U.S. side.

“Jurgen … likes to … spread the field out when you’re on the attack, wide players getting wide on the touchline whether the ball’s on your side or the opposite side of the field,” Davis said. “Offensively it’s a little more open, [there’s] a little more freedom maybe to try and create things. Dom [Kinnear] likes us to play more as a unit, as a group across the field.”

But Davis said both coaches ask the same things of their players on defense, emphasizing “getting numbers around the ball, closing down the ball and working with your teammates and trying to close down space and getting behind the ball as fast as you can to do that,” Davis said.

Davis is coming off the best MLS season of his career, tallying eight goals and 15 assists. His fine play earned him a contract extension in December.

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35 Responses to Davis relishing his first USMNT look in two years

  1. Fredo says:

    Although not tactical, I’d like to know the differences in motivational speakers.

  2. Pepe says:

    This is long overdue. Know how everyone was complaining that USMNT strikers weren’t getting any service? Brad Davis has the answer.

    • G. Bean says:

      Brad will also be trying to get a goal as well. If he is not pressured, he will strike with that left foot.

    • Edwin in LA says:

      He would have been called up in January last year but he was hurt from the East Final remember? Then he took a while to get healthy and by the time he was back well…it was the middle of qualifying…

    • Bobb says:

      Not playing a minimum of three defensive midfielders, and a maximum of five, is the answer to getting forwards service. Or Klinsmann could just blame Jozy for being lazy again….

      As far as personnel is concerned when it comes to service, I’ll take any of Zusi/Diskerud/Feilhaber/Kljestan over Brad Davis at the international level. And let’s remember Donovan was missing for a lot of that time. As was Shea, who created the goals in both games vs Mexico.

  3. Kung Fu Kangaroos says:

    Does he normally play centrally or on the wings? He has a great cross and would do well on the left wing in a 4-4-2.

    • H-Town says:

      You got to be frickin’ kidding me? Is Brad Davis a wing player? Welcome to the best winger in the USMNT player pool. He has only been the most consistent winger in MLS for the last half decade. I can’t remember who coined the phrase, ” the left-footed David Beckham”.

    • Hogatroge says:

      Depending on how the Dynamo line up he plays both.

      In a 4-4-2, he plays on the left side of midfield, but in a 4-3-3, he plays centrally.

      • The Imperative Voice says:

        Disagree. IMO Ashe hogs the outside ineffectively in the 433/451. It’s not that Davis isn’t supposed to be out there……look where the right guy, Boniek, Camargo, etc. played…..as that Ashe kept running into Davis’ space. But the real central player was usually someone like Moffat or Clark.

        No, one of the reasons I thought the 433/451 would not work is that Davis was being “pushed” inside by Ashe, which was an incredible misallocation of crossing resources. Ashe has barely hit a decent cross in his life.

        Which is why we were back in a 442 for the playoffs, because Davis is assured of his left side spot that way.

        • H-Town says:

          Ashe is a good LB in MLS, get over it imperative voice/juvechelsea. You have always and it out for Ashe, unreasonably so… He was a frickin’ all star at the position.

          Davis did not play centrally in the 433. He played left winger behind kandji. He would drift centrally, but was still on the left face most of the time.

          • The Imperative Voice says:

            You couldn’t have been watching the same games I did where Ashe was pushed up well past the backline, and Davis would start pushed in a little when the ball was on the other side, but never have the room to get out wide himself when the ball got switched. He’d end up feeding Ashe half the time. Ashe would already be there, him and his awful crosses and 2 assists for them.

            This corrected itself when we switched to the 442, because Davis lines up right in front of Ashe, who can’t cheat up into the space.

            I’m sorry but the average Houston fan doesn’t seem to get the correlation between some of the personnel choices and the fact we’ve not been better than 2nd since 2007. There is a bubble and within that bubble everyone we have that Kinnear likes is awesome. Somehow that perceived awesomeness is never checked against the results. It was a great team in 2006 and 2007 “so it must still be now.”

            Allow me to burst that bubble. LAG kicked our butts for year 2 in a row. That relates to 2 things. (1) The offense is not fully-powered; and (2) the defense is overrated. In terms of offense, the problem has been that Bruin is going it alone on top, and we lack a #10. In terms of defense, the basic problem is I’d not take anyone we have on a bet save Taylor and Creavalle. Ashe and Sarkodie are sloppy and defensively overrated. Boswell is just plain slow.

            The fact that Ashe was an all star — one year, picked by the coach — and yet has never been in USMNT consideration should give you dissonance. The reality is he can’t hit a cross or defend particularly well. He has a very vocal group of local defenders, but ironically they defend him harder than he defends on the field.

            I mean the thing to me is he is as bad in his own way as Kandji and some of the other players on the team who are flawed. But since Kinnear loves Ashe and dislikes Kandji, the fanboys toe the line.

            Houston is going in the right direction but there is room for improvement, and that involves squeezing what’s left out of Davis (we have quite a few older players that worry me), and sidelining Ashe.

            • G. Bean says:

              It’s called overlapping. Fullbacks regularly overlap the midfielders when the team is on the attack.

              CB’s even join the attack at times!
              :P

  4. Dudester says:

    On a side note from camp cupcake.Beckerman and Feilhaber had a training ground bust up.Beckerman went in too strong on a tackle of Benny,he didn’t take it lightly to say the least.

    • byrdman says:

      That kind of stuff is why, I believe JK hasn’t invited him back. Last time in a friendly, I don’t remember who, all he did was cry and yell a the referee about being grabbed and held. Took himself right out of the game. Eventually he is grows up and deals with it, or he moves on. And he has done a lot of moving on in his career. He has great vision and really good skills, but mental toughness is important, and he is lacking.

      • Hogatroge says:

        Sorry, but until more info comes out, I’m gonna have to side with Benny on this one. You don’t do things that can hurt your teammates in practice. Period.

        • Bobb says:

          +1

          Benny can contribute at this level (see 2010 World Cup, etc), Beckerman is two steps slow and not surprising that he would do something clumsy like that.

        • David JS says:

          +1, as long as it didn’t go too far (which it sounds like it didn’t) then it’s not a big deal. If anything it shows that guys are putting in the effort, which is a good thing.

    • Hogatroge says:

      And apparently, this is old news. The youtube video says January 14th, or almost a week ago.

  5. Dudester says:

    It may Be week old news but it’s still a talking point.Do you have a lInk to the video of the bust up.I would like to see it please?

    • Hogatroge says:

      On yanks-abroad, one guy who was at the training session said that Beckerman was at fault. Reckless tackle, some shouting and pushing, separated by teammates.

  6. Dudester says:

    Yeah that’s where I found out about this.Just saying cause it happened last Monday, doesn’t mean it’s not news to some of us.

  7. MA1 Rodriguez says:

    Davis reminds me of Steve Ralton time with USNT.

  8. BFT says:

    Good for him, I hope he does well. Obviously not a long term answer for the USMNT but he’s a very good player (one of the best in MLS for a while now) who has something to prove at international level.

  9. Bobb says:

    Brad Davis is very good 1) at what he does 2) at the MLS level, but I don’t see much of a future for him with the national team, given his skillset, and his age/upside.
    Based on this quote
    “It’s been difficult,” Davis said. “The pace is very high, but when we get back to our clubs we should be ready to go.”
    It sounds like he doesn’t, either.

    • Heft says:

      He’s not the only player to ever say that the training is tough and the pace is high.

      • Bobb says:

        Why is he talking about “when we get back to our clubs” instead of the Canada friendly and trying to make the roster for the upcoming World Cup hex?
        Sounds like a guy who knows he doesn’t have much of a future with the national team….

  10. The Imperative Voice says:

    Davis can hit his deadballs and crosses. The issues with him are inconsistency — he goes in and out of hitting the ball well — as well as limitations in terms of speed and defense. The Dynamo have historically put someone athletic behind him to soak up the defensive limitations. He has improved his fitness but he remains a defensive liability.

    He is definitely not a starter but he might be worth considering as a Beckham-style deadball bench option off the bench. One thing I think US teams need is more tactical diversity off the bench, a mix of some speed and touch types in with those who are just “next man up.”

  11. beachbum says:

    Davis as a late sub vs. tired legs for a team that has been typically starved for top shelf service just might be an opportunity for him and the USMNT, maybe not, but it’s easy to see the application possibilty.

  12. toby says:

    Looks like Giggs back in the day