As part of the "Taking the Lead" series, MLS talked to one of the premier leaders in the league, Brian Ching. The Dynamo captain talked about his team-first approach and how he leads the squad both on and off the field.
Brad Davis had a season to remember in 2011. Playing in every game, he won MLS' Silver Boot award for most assists with 16 on the year and finished runner-up in the league's MVP voting. Unlike the MVP winner, he also went to the playoffs and added two more assists to send Houston to the MLS Cup Final before going down with an injury. Oh, and he added four goals during the regular season if all of that wasn't enough for you.
I remind you of this because Davis is now up against David Beckham, Dwayne De Rosario and Chris Wondolowski for an ESPY award in the Best MLS Player category. Clearly, there is one choice in this matter. So click here to vote for Brad. Warning: you will have to vote in all of the categories for your vote to be processed.
The ESPYS are an annual sports awards event held by ESPN to recognize the greatest accomplishments in the sports world over the past year. This year's event will be on July 11 at 8 p.m. CT, hosted by comedian Rob Riggle.
While we're talking about voting and awards and such, don't forget to vote for Brad and the gang for the MLS All-Star Game (click here).
It was a tough week for the Dynamo against Canadian opposition, as they were only able to get one point against Toronto F.C. and the Montreal Impact. The team fought hard to come back from a 3-1 deficit against Toronto to earn a 3-3 draw. Bobby Boswell got his first goal of the season off a patented Brad Davis corner kick, and Will Bruin scored two goals (including the game-winning header in the 90th minute) to even the score. Davis and Bruin struck again against Montreal, with the Dancing Bear scoring his third goal of the week and ninth of season and Davis swerving home a free kick past Donovan Ricketts. Their goals weren't enough, however, as the Dynamo fell 4-2.
The draw and loss brings the Orange to an even 5-5-5 on the year, and fifth place in the Eastern Conference standings. In response to the results, the writers at MLSsoccer.com dropped the Dynamo one spot in their power rankings, from No. 8 to No. 9. They had this to say:
Another team we may be giving too much respect to, but it's hard to avoid it when you look at what this group is capable of. We all remember what this defense looked like at the end of 2011, and there's no reason to think they won't get back there in 2012.
It's obvious that the defense hasn't looked its best this week, but as the writers say, there is plenty of talent on the back line. Add in the phenomenonal year that Will Bruin is having and the addition of Oscar Boniek Garcia, and the Dynamo look poised to make another playoff run.
Elsewhere in the power rankings world, Jeffrey Carlisle of ESPN.com also ranks the Dynamo ninth, the Soccer By Ives crew had them at No. 10 and Steve Davis at ProSoccerTalk.com still likes the men in orange at No. 7.
What do you think? Who can the Dynamo leapfrog this week? Who's your top five? Share your thoughts in the comments below!
The Twitter vote is closed but you can still cast your vote to give your favorite Dynamo players a chance to be on the MLS All-Star team and take on Chelsea FC. The game will be played at PPL Park (home of the Philadelphia Union) on July 25, 2012, at 7:30 p.m. CT! Make sure to select Dynamo’s Tally Hall, Geoff Cameron, Bobby Boswell, Andre Hainult, Brad Davis, and Will Bruin on your MLS All-Star ballot today.
Fans can vote until July 2 online at MLSsoccer.com or by texting a player's last name only to 22442. Online and text voting concludes July 2 at 4 p.m. CT.
The 11 players with the highest combined online, text and Twitter fan votes will become the First XI All-Stars and will be unveiled on Sunday, July 8, at halftime of the Chicago Fire vs. LA Galaxy match. The player that earns the most text votes will automatically claim one of those 11 spots. Following the unveiling, the game-day roster will be announced on July 15 by MLS All-Star head coac Ben Olsen during the New York Red Bulls vs. Seattle Sounders match at 3 p.m. CT.
There is no restriction on the number of times a fan can vote, so make sure to vote for your Dynamo players as many times as you can!
From now until 10:59 p.m. CDT, you can tweet your vote for the MLS First XI for the All Star Game vs. Chelsea FC on July 25. We need your help to get Will Bruin, Geoff Cameron, Tally Hall and the rest of the Dynamo to Philadelphia to take on the UEFA Champions League winners. Here's how you do it:
Step 1: Follow @MLS on Twitter. Only users that follow @MLS will be eligible.
Step 2: Choose from the 114 eligible players listed here that you want to vote for. We recommend Tally Hall, Geoff Cameron, Bobby Boswell, Andre Hainault, Will Bruin and Brad Davis, for obvious reasons.
Step 3: Use the first AND last name of the player(s) that you're voting for along with the hashtag #MLSAllStar, and tweet it!
That's all you have to do! You can vote via Twitter as many times as you would like, and you can vote for as many players as possible in a single tweet (But you can't vote for the same player multiple times in the same tweet. You'll have to make separate tweets.) Remember, Twitter voting ends tonight, so get your tweets in! If your followers complain that you're overrunning their timeline, tell them that they should be voting as well.
If you miss the Twitter deadline or don't have a Twitter account, you can also vote using the online ballot here.
Now let's paint Twitter orange and get our players to the All-Star Game!
Geoff Cameron joined the guys over on the ExtraTime Radio podcast this week, and they discussed his time with the national team and what's next for the Dynamo. Geoff recounted some stories of visiting Central American stadiums with the Dynamo in CONCACAF Champions League play and said that he's focused on his play on the field with the Dynamo despite European transfer rumors swirling about.
MLSsoccer.com's Power 5 series continues this week with five MLS records that are likely to be broken, as well as five that are likely to stand the test of time. Dynamo assistant coach Steve Ralston came in at No. 4 on the breakable record list with his all-time minutes record. Today, Ralston made another appearance on the list with his all-time assist record. The former New England winger has 135 career assists, 21 more then the No. 2 person on the list (Carlos Valderrama) and 38 more than the active leader (Landon Donovan).
Donovan, however, is not the man that the experts at MLSsoccer.com believe has the tools to break Ralston's record. That honor goes to Dynamo midfielder Brad Davis, a man who shares much in common with Ralston. Both men are from the St. Louis area and both have benefited from forwards who know how to put the ball in the back of the net. (i.e. Taylor Twellman and Brian Ching). Although Davis sits 51 assists shy of Ralston's record, the 2011 MLS MVP runner-up is showing no signs of slowing down. He tallied 40 assist from 2009-2011 and has four assists in 2012. Watch below to see why the MLSsoccer.com writers believe Davis is the man to break Ralston's record.
WATCH: Brad Davis notches two assists in Houston's 3-3 draw vs. Toronto
MLSsoccer.com continues its Power 5 series with a look at five records that are considered breakable, as well as five that will not be broken any time soon. No. 4 on the breakable list is career minutes played, a record held by none other than Dynamo assistant coach Steve Ralston. Ralston is described by his peers as an "Iron Man" and is credited not only for his longevity, but for his ability to maintain a high level throughout his career. Watch the video below to see what else the writers at MLSsoccer.com have to say about the Dynamo Assistant Coach and who they think could break his record.
Voting began on Friday for the 2012 AT&T MLS All-Star Game, a matchup of the MLS All-Stars and European Champions Chelsea on July 25 in Philadelphia.
Who do you think should be on the All-Star team this year? Six Dynamo players are on the ballot: Goalkeeper Tally Hall; defenders Bobby Boswell, Geoff Cameron and Andre Hainault; midfielder Brad Davis and forward Will Bruin.
A panel of media members nominated a total of 114 players – the top six per team – to the fan ballot. Fans can also vote by sending a player’s first and last name via text message to 22442. Twitter voting will occur June 21-22.
The players with the highest combined votes from these three voting methods will become the first 11 All-Stars – known as the All-Star First XI.
MLSSoccer.com editor in chief Greg Lalas offers his selections for defenders in the video below, including Dynamo center back Geoff Cameron.
Dynamo defender Andre Hainault and midfielder Je-Vaughn Watson each featured in their respective national team's friendlies this pat weekend. Dynamo defender Geoff Cameron was on the bench for the U.S. against Canada, but was not called upon by head coach Jurgen Klinsmann.
Hainault started and played 90 minutes against the United States in the scoreless draw at BMO Field on Sunday. The Dynamo defender anchored a backline that shut down the U.S. attacked and also earned a yellow card for a foul on Jermaine Jones.
WATCH U.S. VS. CANADA HIGHLIGHTS
Je-Vaughn Watson started and played 86 minutes in Jamaica's 2-1 loss to Panama at Estadio Rommel Fernandez Gutierrez. The Dynamo midfielder picked up a yellow card for a foul in the 68th minute.
WATCH JAMAICA VS. PANAMA HIGHLIGHTS