Brad Davis is not quite going home, but he's getting close.
The Houston Dynamo traded the veteran assist machine to Sporting Kansas City on Thursday, receiving two future draft picks and future considerations in return. Davis, 34, ranks third in MLS history in regular-season assists with 122, trailing only Landon Donovan (136) and Steve Ralston (135), and third among field players with 368 games played.
"Brad's competitiveness, experience and leadership have always stood out, and we look forward to him bringing these traits to Kansas City," Sporting Kansas City manager Peter Vermes said in a club statement. "This is another move that not only bolsters our roster, but will also bring a different dynamic once preseason starts in a couple of weeks."
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Davis was born and raised in the St. Louis suburb of St. Charles, Missouri, and attended St. Louis University. After playing for the MetroStars, Dallas and the San Jose Earthquakes, he moved with the Earthquakes to Houston for the 2006 season and has played there ever since, serving as captain since 2012. He is Houston's all-time leader in games, starts, minutes and assists.
"Honestly, it's without a doubt bittersweet," Davis said to the Houston Chronicle. "The emotions since finding out have been all over the place. … I'm disappointed. [Houston] is something that's been obviously a huge part of me and who I am and who I've become over the last decade. On the other hand, I am excited about a new step, a new chapter, a new challenge for me in my career."
Because of Davis' ties to Missouri, Kansas City had long been seen as a possible destination late in his career, despite animosity between the clubs stemming from their three consecutive playoff meetings (2011-13).
“The opportunity came about to be closer to home, and it has always been a dream to play professionally in front of my family,” Davis said in a Houston club statement. “This decision was not an easy one, but one I needed to make.”
Known for his left-footed delivery, both from dead balls and the run of play, Davis has recorded at least 10 assists in the regular season in six of the last seven seasons, was a finalist for MLS MVP in 2011 and was part of the US national team's World Cup squad in 2014.
He joins free agent Justin Mapp as new left-sided players acquired by Kansas City this offseason.
Houston acquired Sporting Kansas City's natural selections in the second round of the 2017 MLS SuperDraft and the third round of the 2018 MLS SuperDraft.