All-Star Notebook: Davis back in N.J.

Dynamo veteran began career in New Jersey, returns as All-Star

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Photo Credit: 
Scott Riddell / MLSSoccer.com

There has been much talk this week about the improvements in MLS over
the past decade. One who’s seen it up close and personal is All-Star
midfielder Brad Davis, the No. 3 overall pick in the 2002 MLS Draft.

“This league wasn’t here when I was growing up,” Davis said during
Monday’s press conference. “The league has gotten better, the talent has
gotten better. Hopefully it keeps going in the right direction.”

One thing going in the right direction is Davis' career. Wednesday
night is a bit of a homecoming of sorts, as the young winger originally
was taken by the MetroStars in 2002. Davis enjoyed a solid rookie
campaign before being traded from the club when current U.S. national team
head coach Bob Bradley took over following the 2002 season.

Davis has gone on to flourish in MLS, particularly in Houston since 2006, earning national team call-ups. By now, Davis is no stranger to the MLS All-Star Game —
he’s making his third straight appearance and fourth overall, and bagged
himself a goal against Everton in 2009. New York’s current head coach, Hans Backe, thinks highly of Davis.

“One of my favorite players on the left-hand side,” Backe said of Davis. “Good understanding of the game, good knowledge.”

Becks’ LA Future: Now in the final year of his
five-year contract with MLS, David Beckham remains committed to being
uncommitted about his MLS future. The 37-year old midfielder is enjoying
a good season with the Galaxy but said he’s focused on the present, not
the future, with the club.

“I haven’t spoken to the Galaxy yet,” Beckham said. “They know my situation.”

Beckham is still recovering from a stress fracture to his spine and is
uncertain how much he wants to continue to play after this season.

“I have to see how I feel at the end of the year,” Beckham said. “I’m happy here.”

No Dice on Donovan: The news late on Sunday night that Landon Donovan is out of the All-Star Game with a calf injury is a big blow to the MLS side.

“He’s a key player,” Backe said. “One of the top players in the game.”

Backe said that no replacement player will be called in to face Manchester United on Wednesday night.

“I will give everyone minutes on Wednesday,” Backe promised.

Thierry’s Thoughts: It was a little more than a year
ago that Thierry Henry announced at a crowded Red Bull Arena press
conference that he was leaving famed Spanish club Barcelona for MLS.
Since that moment, Henry has been pleased with his American adventure.

“It’s been more than amazing for me,” Henry said. “People are
responding well, fans are coming to the game — you have some amazing
players here. I have been surprised a lot about the level, the
physicality of the league.”

Henry currently is the league’s socring leader, sitting on 11 goals heading into the All-Star Break.

Kristian R. Dyer can be followed at twitter.com/KristianRDyer