STATS: Will Brad Davis be a success at Sporting Kansas City?

When the Houston Dynamo announced they had agreed to trade Brad Davis to Sporting Kansas City last week in return for two draft picks, it’s safe to say that plenty of eyebrows were raised.

Davis has spent the last ten seasons with the Dynamo, becoming the club’s all-time leader in games, starts and assists, so his departure will certainly leave a void.

He will undoubtedly strengthen Sporting Kansas City’s squad, even at the age of 34, and will hope to put his previous clashes with the SKC fanbase behind him as he prepares for his 14th consecutive campaign in the league.

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Getting the Sporting KC fans to sing his name will be one of Davis’ first challenges and he will only be able to do that with positive performances on the field.

The 17-time capped USMNT midfielder has registered 122 assists in MLS over the past 13 years – the third-highest total by any player in league history – and is now just 14 behind Landon Donovan’s all-time mark of 136.

He registered ten assists over the course of a mixed 2015 campaign with Houston, making double figures for the seventh time in ten years, and proved he still has a lot to offer in MLS.

Table: Brad Davis' MLS Regular Season statistics with the Houston Dynamo over the past five years (via MLSSoccer.com)

Table: Brad Davis’ MLS Regular Season statistics with the Houston Dynamo over the past five years (via MLSSoccer.com)

As the table above shows, Davis has been a consistently good performer over the past five years. He has scored four goals in four of his last five campaigns and has averaged more than 45 shots per season.

His position has changed over the past couple of years as his legs have lost a yard or two of pace, with Owen Coyle deploying him in an attacking midfield role instead of in his traditional spot out wide, but his production hasn’t dipped.

It will be intriguing to see how Peter Vermes uses him in Kansas City. Davis is unlikely to slot back into a winger role for 25+ games, while slotting in behind Dom Dwyer is also unlikely given Benny Feilhaber’s dominant 2015 campaign in that position.

Table: Benny Feilhaber and Brad Davis' 2015 MLS Regular Season Stats compared. (Stats via WhoScored.com)

Table: Benny Feilhaber and Brad Davis’ 2015 MLS Regular Season Stats compared. (Stats via WhoScored.com)

As a result of Feilhaber’s fine performances last term, Davis may face a battle to cement a regular starting place in Vermes’ side.

There is a chance that Davis will become a prestigious option off the bench for SKC, with his versatility in the final third a major plus for the 2013 MLS Cup winners, but it is difficult to envisage him being given anywhere near the amount of minutes he has received at Houston over the past decade.

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Regardless of how much of a chance he is given, Davis will strengthen SKC’s roster for the 2016 campaign and he brings wealths of MLS experience with him.

But being able to measure his success will depend on the number of starts he is given. Getting a first MLS Cup Playoff appearance for three years is something Davis will expect to get with a Sporting side that has made the postseason for five straight seasons, while a third ever MLS Cup title for Davis is definitely not out of reach.

Do you think Brad Davis will be a success with Sporting Kansas City? 

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MLS Preview and Prediction: Philadelphia Union vs Houston Dynamo

Competition: Major League Soccer – Philadelphia Union vs. Houston Dynamo 

Venue: PPL Park – Sunday, September 20 – 19:00 ET (00:00 BST)

Match Odds: Philadelphia Union 11/10 – Draw 13/5 – Houston Dynamo 9/4

Match Preview

Philadelphia Union will be in search of their first home win since July 11 when Houston Dynamo visit PPL Park on Sunday night.

Only winning two of their last nine, Philly have shown a recent run of form that justifies their current standing of ninth in the Eastern Conference. However, they only remain three points off the playoffs even if Montreal Impact (currently sixth) have three games in hand.

They are without a win in their last four matches though, so the Union may struggle to seal three points here.

Philadelphia Union’s record in MLS: P29 – W8 – D6 – L15

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Houston Dynamo haven’t been much better this season, having only won twice away all season. Owen Coyle’s men will feel that this has been another year of transition but they will also feel that they should be higher than they are in the standings.

The Dynamo finally have star striker Erick Torres back but he has yet to complete 90 minutes for them. If he gains full match fitness, he could be vital to any playoff hopes the Dynamo still have in the West.

Currently six points off the playoffs, Houston have it all to do, but it’s not unmanageable and a win in Philadelphia would keep hopes alive.

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They will need to transform their form to stand any chance as they are without a win in their last five away matches in MLS.

Houston Dynamo’s record in MLS: P28 – W9 – D8 – L11

Team News

Philadelphia Union will be without Jimmy McLaughlin who is suffering with concussion. Maurice Edu and Andrew Wenger are both doubtful.

Houston Dynamo are missing Jermaine Taylor, DaMarcus Beasley, Kofi Sarkodie and Luis Garrido through injury. Midfielder Alex is doubtful with a right hamstring strain. Raul Rodriguez is suspended through yellow card accumulation.

Key Points

Philadelphia Union’s last five: D/W/L/W/L

Houston Dynamo’s last five: L/D/L/W/L

Key Stat: Houston have won only once in their last ten matches on the road in MLS.

Key Player: Brad Davis – Fully fledged USMNT veteran Davis is integral to the Dynamo and has either assisted or scored in his last four games for Houston.

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Score Prediction

Philadelphia Union 1-1 Houston Dynamo – This one really could go either way. You can expect a goal fest that could see an open, entertaining affair or it could be a boring draw. We expect both teams to score in a tight contest, but we’re hoping for some goal action.

Houston Dynamo striker enjoying life under British boss

Houston Dynamo striker Will Bruin is enjoying his football under new boss Owen Coyle after scoring three goals in his last two appearances.

Bruin was instrumental in their 3-1 win against the Portland Timbers last weekend, scoring twice.

Dynamo captain, Brad Davis sympathises with the forward playing as a lone striker, suggesting: “It takes a mentally tough individual to do that, because it’s not always glorious,” Davis said when speaking to MLSsoccer.com.

“You’re usually getting hit from behind, usually up against two or three guys. It’s more about his mental strength than anything. He’s got the physical and athletic ability to handle that; that’s why he is there.”

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The Dynamo have adopted a 4-4-1-1 formation in recents weeks, playing Giles Barnes just behind Bruin, and it’s been so far so good for Coyle’s men.

Will Bruin was also approached about his role and had the following to say: “Under Dominic Kinnear was genuinely my first time ever playing as a lone forward.

“It’s a learning process, and the best way to learn is trial-and-error. Here, I think Owen (Coyle) playing (in the same position) really helps me. He tells you things you have to look for and things that are a little overrated,” said Bruin.

Owen Coyle has finally started to see some success come to his Dynamo side, and he will be hoping that Will Bruin will carry on his form.

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“I obviously know from own playing days how tough a job it is,” Coyle said. “It’s a thankless task for a striker to do the work that the team needs.”

Bruin has been brilliant recently, and he will have to continue this form to keep designated player Erick Torres out of the side once the Mexican arrives in Texas.

How influential has Will Bruin been to the Houston Dynamo and will he keep his place once Erick Torres arrives?

MLS Preview and Prediction: Houston Dynamo vs Columbus Crew

Competition: Major League Soccer – Houston Dynamo vs Columbus Crew

Venue: BBVA Compass Stadium – Sunday, March 8th – 20:30 ET (01:30 GMT – Sunday, 9)

Match Odds: Houston Dynamo 5/4 – Draw 11/5 – Columbus Crew 11/5

Match Preview

Houston Dynamo host the Columbus Crew on Saturday night in their season openers of the 2015 Major League Soccer campaign. This one sees two good sides that have had eventful yet promising offseasons go head-to-head.

Houston has changed their manager, opting to go for Owen Coyle. The Scot replaces Dominic Kinnear who departed the club at the end of the 2014 season after eight years in charge.

The managerial change sees former Premier League manager Coyle take over a Houston side that needs to do better than last season as they have a lot of promise in the squad.

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With the addition of Erick Torres to bolster an already strong team that boasts World Cup stars DaMarcus Beasley and Brad Davis, the Dynamo could be set for a good season.

Starting a season at home is always a good thing and Houston are the favorites going into the game against the Columbus Crew.

Houston Dynamo’s MLS home record in 2014: P17 – W8 – D4 – L5

The Columbus Crew’s changes have been more image-based as the club enter 2015 with a new logo and are without too many changes to their roster. The addition of Kei Kamara will bolster their attacking options and is a good pickup.

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Midfield acquisitions, Mohammed Saeid and Kristinn Steindorsson will add depth to a midfield that is very strong. Defensive midfielder, Will Trapp was recently called up to the USMNT and will want to continue to impress this year.

Columbus Crew’s MLS away record in 2014: P17 – W5 – D6 – L6

A special mention has to go to Ethan Finlay as the young attacking midfielder chipped in with eleven goals in MLS last term and will be hoping for more of the same in 2015.

Team News

Houston Dynamo: No injuries and we’re expecting everyone to be available for selection. Will Bruin is set to start in attack while defender Raul Rodriguez should make his debut at centre-back.

Columbus Crew: Romain Gall is out of this game with a knee injury. Kei Kamara and Kristinn Steindorsson should make their debuts.

Key Points

Houston Dynamo’s form: N/A

Columbus Crew’s form: N/A

Key Stat: The Houston Dynamo have only lost once at home to Columbus in MLS, a 2-0 defeat in June 2011.

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Key Player: Federico Higuain – The Argentinian playmaker can lay on assists as well as score goals. He was key in 2014 for Columbus and if they are to take anything from Sunday’s game he will need to be at his best in a playmaking role.

Score Prediction

Houston Dynamo 1-1 Columbus Crew – A game that neither side want to lose and we don’t think either will risk losing in this one. It could be a tight game but with each side bagging a goal. Score draw.

MLS 2015 Season Preview: Houston Dynamo

As the new season draws ever closer we’ll have a new MLS 2015 Season Preview up everyday. Today we take a look at what the Houston Dynamo will be looking to achieve this year.

Houston Dynamo goes into the 2015 season with a new manager in Owen Coyle and a lot of room for improvement. Following the departure of Dominic Kinnear, the Dynamo have signalled their intent that they need to do better. Houston is a team in transition but they have failed to impress in recent times and need to try and bounce back this year. They will be looking to make their mark in the Western Conference following their move from the East to make room for the new expansion franchises.

Last season’s finish: Eastern Conference position: 8th – P34 – W11 – D6 – L17

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What needs to change this year? 

They need more points. For a team that boasts some highly talented players in DaMarcus Beasley and Brad Davis to name a couple, they need to be performing better. Owen Coyle will bring a British philosophy to this Houston side. And so they should hopefully be a lot better defensively this season and with it, increase their points output.

Key changes to squad:

Ins: Erick Torres – Forward (Designated Player), Raul Rodriguez – Defender, Joe Willis – Goalkeeper.

Outs: Mark Sherrod – Striker, Andrew Driver – Midfielder, Tally Hall – Goalkeeper.

Key player: Brad Davis – Midfielder

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Brad Davis is now the longest-serving player to stay with one club in MLS and he plays with pride every time he pulls on the orange of Houston and is a great leader for his side. Expect him to lead them again this season, while his threat from set-pieces is a great asset to the Dynamo. Davis is key to their season.

One to watch: Erick Torres – Forward

It may seem a controversial choice as Erick Torres is not expected to join up until June. However, expect him to have a huge impact on the productivity of this Houston attack. Torres scored 15 goals last term for a Chivas USA side that were below average. He is a natural goalscorer and great signing for the Dynamo. He will need to earn his Designated Player tag as soon as he rejoins MLS with the Dynamo.

Predicted finish: Western Conference – 8th

We’re not expecting miracles at the BBVA Compass Stadium this season and so a modest eighth-placed finish will be a good building block for a side that should be pushing for the playoffs the following year.

How do you think the Houston Dynamo will fare in 2015?

Brad Davis now the longest-serving player with one club in MLS

Houston Dynamo midfielder Brad Davis is now the longest-serving player to be with one Major League Soccer club as he enters his 10th season with the Dynamo.

Chicago Fire defender Gonzalo Segares announced his retirement on Monday, putting an end to a 10-year career, and so Davis is now the longest-serving player in the league to have been with one club.

Houston teammate Corey Ashe is not far behind Davis as the left-back has been with the Dynamo for eight years, while Real Salt Lake trio Nick Rimando, Kyle Beckerman and Javier Morales have all been together in RSL for eight years too.

Longest-serving players with one club in MLS

List of active MLS players with longest tenures with one club (via Houston Dynamo) 

Davis is currently tied for fourth with Preki (112) for all-time MLS assists and is only two behind Colombian legend Carlos Valderrama (114).

The USMNT playmaker, who was a part of the 2014 World Cup squad, will expect to climb to at least third on the all-time assist list this season but he is still 24 behind Landon Donovan, who leads Major League Soccer for assists with 136.

Davis will play alongside Mexican striker Erick Torres when he joins up with the squad later this year and he will expect to pick up plenty of assists while playing with the former Chivas USA star.

The Houston Dynamo open up their 2015 season against the Columbus Crew on Saturday, March 7th and the club will hope to start life under new coach Owen Coyle with victory.

How important is Brad Davis for the Houston Dynamo?

2014 MLS Season Review: Houston Dynamo

Eastern Conference Final Position: 8th

Review

They started the season with a flyer, beating New England 4-0 at home but struggled without Brad Davis during the World Cup and never challenged for a playoff spot.

Best Moment

Signing DaMarcus Beasley – World Cup star Beasley joining Houston was a signal that the Dynamo can still attract marquee signings.

Worst Moment

Mark Sherrod’s injury – Just twelve minutes into the D.C United game, Sherrod went down and the forward’s season was over. We’re hoping to see him fully fit in 2015.

Player of the Year

Brad Davis was the main man and the leader of the pack. They missed his influence massively while he was at the World Cup in Brazil.

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Biggest Win

Houston Dynamo 4-0 New England Revolution (March 9 2014)

Biggest Defeat

New York Red Bulls 4-0 Houston Dynamo (April 23 2014)

What to improve for the 2015 season…

Houston needs to strengthen defensively; possibly another midfielder in the draft, someone who can learn from Brad Davis so they can form a core to build around.

What we learnt from San Jose’s comfortable win over Houston

San Jose Earthquakes cruised to a 3-0 win on Sunday night, as Houston Dynamo will rue costly errors defensively. We take a look at four key talking points from the game. They are as follows:

1. Does Dominic Kinnear know where to play Giles Barnes?

Giles Barnes has played mainly through the middle all year and hasn’t really reached his potential yet.

The former Derby ace, has struggled to influence results, as it would appear that he doesn’t know where he’s playing.

The team sheet suggests that he was playing up front, but his performance said otherwise as he rarely got into advanced positions and struggled to keep up with attacks.

His role needs clarification.

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2. Tally Hall was full of howlers.

Houston’s normally reliable ‘keeper Tally Hall, was in comical form on Sunday as he managed to pick up a blatant back pass and then misjudged a long ball, both which led to goals.

Hall will take most of the stick, but it’s difficult to feel sorry for him as his defense is way below par. They’re scramble defence is a joke as there is no trust when delegating marking responsibilities, and communication is absent.

The Dynamo really needs their leader back in Brad Davis, who is currently on World Cup duty with the USMNT.

 

3. Busch was faultless.

Contrary to the performance of Tally Hall, Jon Busch was brilliant. He was rarely tested, with the Dynamo only having six shots on target, three of which were blocked.

But keeping a clean sheet will do Busch and his San Jose defence the world of good, especially for Busch who was recently left stunned by a cracking lob from Obafemi Martins.

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4. Who will be missed more, Wondo or Davis?

Both Chris Wondolowski of the Earthquakes and Brad Davis of the Dynamo are heading to the World Cup with the USMNT and both sides will be weaker as a result.

It would appear that the Dynamo are significantly weaker due to the loss of Davis, as Kinnear seemingly has nobody to replace him with. He used Giles Barnes in the loss to DC United and Servando Carrasco on Sunday night, but neither could do the job Davis does so well.

San Jose is obviously going to miss ‘Wondo’ but  it seems as though they have a better squad to cope with the loss of their talisman than the Dynamo.

Highlights via MLS on YouTube: