After a frustrating scoreless draw against Canada last Tuesday night, Brad Davis wondered if he had done enough to earn a spot on the roster for the US national team’s first World Cup qualifier in Honduras.
It turns out he did.
Davis was one of 24 players called in on Monday by head coach Jurgen Klinsmann to face the Catrachos in San Pedro Sula on Wednesday. It’s the first foray into the World Cup qualifying realm for Davis, who notched his sixth career US cap in the match against Canada.
“I want to really see where I fit in you have to get integrated during these World Cup qualifiers,” Davis told MLSsoccer.com. “You’re going to be in a group of guys that have played a lot more games together at the international level. To have this opportunity, this is my first World Cup qualifier, so I’m stoked and I’m looking forward to going in and working hard and trying to get some time.”
Davis was one of the standouts in the near month-long camp, by all accounts. Reports from media covering the camp indicated Klinsmann was very positive on the work Davis was putting in, to the point where it became a good bet the Houston winger would land on the roster.
But that was only until the US faced a defensive Canada squad that flummoxed the Americans, leading to some to worry that three weeks’ worth of work was ruined.
“Without a doubt, it was definitely in the back of my mind that I messed up,” said Davis, who found out about the call last Thursday. “I think it was in the back of everybody’s mind. I wanted to end on a little better note, but I know I had a good three weeks. I know I had a good camp and got some good feedback and now I’m just excited to get into camp.”
Now Davis is looking to take the next challenge in his all-of-a-sudden busy international career, which is to work his way into the group tasked with qualifying for next year’s World Cup in Brazil.
For Davis, that means working his way into an established group and, in some respects, having to show all over again that he belongs at a new level.
“Will it be more difficult for me? I don’t know, but that’s what I’m looking forward to, that experience,” Davis said. “I’m looking forward to the challenge and I feel like I have something to add.”
Darrell Lovell covers the Houston Dynamo for MLSsoccer.com.