HOUSTON – Canadian fans may have feared the worst when Alphonso Davies hobbled off with an apparent foot or ankle injury with just over 20 minutes remaining of Tuesday’s 1-1Gold Cup draw with Costa Rica.
But Canada head coach Octavio Zambrano put any worries to bed when he stated that he plans to have Davies involved in some capacity against Honduras on Friday night in Frisco, Texas (10 pm ET | FS1, UniMás, UDN in US, TSN GO in Canada).
“He’s going to be OK. He’s not limping and I spoke with our physio and he assured that he’s going to be ready for the next match,” Zambrano said. “Whether we decide to put him in at the start or just kind of assess a little bit and leave him out, we have some fresh legs that want to play. We may opt to keep him out and see how the game unfolds and put him in if the game demands it.
“For now, he’s good. He’s not showing anything major.”
In whatever role Davies plays, Canada’s opponents will have to fear him. He’s shown himself to be a game-changer through two games as a starter so far, and is the early frontrunner in the tournament’s golden boot race
And he’s left other teams impressed.
“We’ve seen Davies and we’ve been following him. He’s a really skillful player and has a lot of talent,” said Costa Rica head coach Oscar Ramirez. “He scored and he’s really important for their team.”
Despite great performances from Milan Borjan, Scott Arfield and others through Canada’s two games, the 16-year-old Davies has captured the attention of everyone watching Les Rouges.
His teammates can’t help but smile when they’re asked about his talent, and how he shows maturity beyond his years.
“Me and Alphonso are good friends,” said his Whitecaps teammate Samuel Adekugbe. “I think everyone knows that he’s an exceptional young player. He’s very humble, he’s got a head on him, which is very good and at the end of the day he always plays with a smile on his face. That’s a testament to his character and his personality.”
Canadians have seen the hype machine ramp up for young players before, only to be disappointed for a myriad of reasons. But through two games of the Gold Cup, Davies is becoming the talk of the entire CONCACAF region as excitement about his potential swells.