HOUSTON – A 39th-minute ankle injury cost Brad Davis the second half of the Texas Derby last week. Now it could cost him another game.
Davis is listed as doubtful for Saturday’s clash with the New England Revolution (5 pm ET, MLS Live) because of a right ankle sprain he suffered when his foot was stepped on by FC Dallas’ Je-Vaughn Watson. Losing Davis, who has an assist in each of the last two games, for the match would be a tough blow for the Dynamo, but the club is prepared to battle on without their captain if need be.
“Of course Brad’s a difference maker and is one of our playmakers…but we’ve got to be able to rely on guys coming off the bench,” said right back Kofi Sarkodie.
Davis hasn't been ruled out officially, but if the Dynamo captain is unable to go, Tony Cascio looks to be the likely replacement in Houston’s midfield.
The Colorado Rapids loanee took Davis’ place last week in his first half of soccer since a knee injury cut what was a promising Dynamo debut short in week one. While the game changed just after his inclusion because of a red card, Cascio also showed he can impact the Dynamo attack.
“I think he had a good preseason, his first game against New England looked good and he’s gotten back on the field and looked like his injury is behind him, which is nice,” head coach Dominic Kinnear said. “We all know he’s a good player. It’s unfortunate he did get hurt, but as guys get better they put themselves in for playing time and he’s done that.”
Added Cascio: “It was huge for me just as a confidence booster. I was sitting in there for three weeks just watching these guys out the window. I haven’t missed soccer like that in a long time. I’m ready to play and I feel really good at this point right now.”
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If the 24-year-old attacker does get the call in place of Davis, their teammates have no doubt that Cascio can get the job done, especially after a six-goal preseason. His dynamic runs and ability to get forward are assets that will buoy the cause as Houston look to stop a two-game slide.
They also know, however, that Cascio's not a finished product. Center back Jermaine Taylor noted that Cascio was the recipient of Kinnear’s ire for not defending at times during Thursday’s training. Still, Taylor has full confidence that he can get the job done if Davis is unavailable.
“Honestly, [Tony’s] just as good as Brad. Not on set pieces…but he’s just as good as Brad going forward,” Taylor told MLSsoccer.com. “He’s here to play so give him the chance to do it.”
Darrell Lovell covers the Houston Dynamo for MLSsoccer.com.