COUNTRY: United States
CLUB: New York Red Bulls
YEARS PRO: 2
The Homegrown midfielder has had to wait for his chance to get regular minutes at the MLS level, but when given opportunities, the versatile 23-year-old has been quick to take advantage. Davis, who joined the Red Bulls after a collegiate career at Duke, is a central midfielder with the physical ability to play a strong two-way game and the technical skill to write his name on the score sheet.
Davis is growing more accustomed to MLS play every week, it seems, as he scored two goals and two assists in August after Dax McCarty was sidelined due to injury. While McCarty and Felipe may be the present of Jesse Marsch's first-choice central midfield, Davis' breakthrough in 2016 may give him the chance to force his way into the starting XI sooner than many expect.
What the technical staffers say:
"I watched him a lot in college – thought he was a good player, didn't think that would translate as well as it has so far."
"His intelligence – intelligent beyond his years, [is what sets him apart] in my opinion. His positional play on the field, recognizing space, doesn't get attracted to the ball, smart, clean technically, and mature. When I see a young player from a team that doesn't rotate [lineups] much, it's not easy to have your rhythm, it's not easy to just come in there and establish yourself, and I feel like he's done well because of his intelligence."
"It says a lot to him that they replaced one of the best central midfielders in the league and they don't miss much of a beat with Sean. He sees the game really, really well – he plays simple when he needs to play simple and has got an ability to play a final ball when he needs to play a final ball. He's popped up with some timely goals and strikes a pretty good ball from distance."
"He's going to continue to get better, and for me he's just got a really nice sense of the game. And what Jesse's done in their system, he's made him a little bit more explosive defensively. So he's pressing a little bit better, he's getting into his tackles a little bit more. I think Dax [McCarty] and Felipe and Sacha [Kljestan] have shown him the way on that, and he's learned. He played a little bit against us last year and he looked like a young kid. Now, the growth in the last year has been remarkable."