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Houston's Kinnear: Davis not available for MLS Cup

HOUSTON – What many already expected has now been confirmed: Houston midfielder and MLS MVP finalist Brad Davis will not take part in MLS Cup.

Addressing the media after training on Monday, Dynamo head coach Dominic Kinnear confirmed that Davis’ diagnosis means he will be a spectator on Nov. 20 at the Home Depot Center.

“Unavailable,” Kinnear said. “Out, right quad strain.”

Davis suffered the injury while making a cut at midfield a few minutes before halftime of Houston’s 2-0 Eastern Conference Championship victory against Sporting Kansas City. After the game, Davis told MLSsoccer.com that he would miss MLS Cup, although official word had yet to come down. With Kinnear’s statement, though, Davis’ early prognosis was confirmed.

Last week LA Galaxy defender Gregg Berhalter expressed his skepticism about Davis' potential absence when he stated that he would only believe the news when he didn't see the left-footed playmaker on the Home Depot Center field this Sunday.

Davis’ absence leaves a huge hole for the Dynamo to fill, but, fortunately, Kinnear has a few of options to pick from. Against Kansas City, Houston's manager moved Corey Ashe from left back to left midfield and inserted Jermaine Taylor in place of the diminutive defender with great results. Adam Moffat assumed the dead-ball duties from Davis and set up the game-winner with his first and only free kick of the night.

Colin Clark, a natural left midfielder who has played on the right most of the season for the Dynamo, is also a logical candidate to fill in for Davis and has looked good on the left flank this season when given the opportunity. Other options could include moving Danny Cruz from right to left or the more unlikely scenario of inserting first-year player Alex Dixon.

Darrell Lovell covers the Houston Dynamo for MLSsoccer.com