HOUSTON – There was one extra soccer player in Houston taking a Thursday morning flight to Kansas City.
The Dynamo’s Brad Davis was on his way to join the US national team – after playing in a tough, scoreless draw Wednesday against Sporting KC at BBVA Compass Stadium – ahead of Friday’s World Cup qualifier with Jamaica and next week’s CONCACAF finale at Panama. Davis put in a 90-minute shift Wednesday and almost scored on a free kick at the end of the first half, but his bender was denied by an Aurélien Collin header off the line.
Despite the Dynamo not getting their desired result, it was a best-case scenario for Davis, as he was able to stay in Houston and help his club during a crucial time of the season.
“I think being able to stay here and play was kind of a win-win,” Davis told MLSsoccer.com after the game. “I do think it’s an important time of the year for this club, and I’ll do whatever the coaches want to do. I am happy I did get to stay here and play and now I get to go tomorrow and be a part of the US group.”
In Kansas City, Davis will try to help the US put on a strong finish to a successful Hexagonal campaign. Davis learned of his call-up before the initial group was publicized. However, after discussion between the Dynamo and U.S. Soccer, it was decided that Davis would join the team after his club’s midweek game.
“It was a coach’s decision,” Davis said. “If I would’ve been called in, I would’ve went and played with the US for sure. I’m happy to be involved in that group right now.”
With his club business behind him for now, Davis is not only focusing on helping the US in its final qualifiers, but also making his case for a roster spot in Brazil next summer. He is considered on the fringe of that roster, probably on the outside lookin in. He has been involved in head coach Jurgen Klinsmann’s plans all year, starting with the January camp, and has made four appearances in World Cup qualifiers in the hexagonal round.
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With two games left in which qualification is no longer an issue, Davis’ plan is to make the most of his opportunity.
“We have some darn good players on that squad, so it’s not an easy thing to push into the lineup and get involved,” he said. “I’ve been a guy who’s come in in some important games and some difficult situations, and feel like I’ve done alright. I am one of those guys right on the brink. It’s going to be a difficult decision, and to be involved in that is great. My job is to make it as difficult as possible.”
Darrell Lovell covers the Houston Dynamo for MLSsoccer.com.