Davis putting together MVP-worthy season

Veteran's improved stamina, consistency driving Dynamo's playoff push

HOU_20110820_Vasser_06_Davis

Photo Credit: 
Anthony Vasser/Houston Dynamo

Quietly — or not so quietly, if you’re a Houston Dynamo fan — Brad
Davis
is putting together the type of season that has many talking about
a national team call-up and a run at the league’s Most Valuable Player
award.

The left-footed winger has become the engine that makes the Dynamo run
in 2011. With three goals and a league-best (and career-high) 13
assists, the 29-year-old is one of the best in the league at creating
chances, despite defenses game-planning to eliminate the winger’s
signature service.

“He’s risen to be the man and is the go-to guy,” said Corey Ashe. “I
think everybody knows he hits set pieces as one of the best in the
league and is just a very good overall player. He’s got that confidence
and kind of has that swagger about him, and it helps us.”

While the stats draw attention, to his teammates, Davis’ contribution
in the leadership department stands out. One of the last remaining
players who came with the club from San Jose six years ago, Davis has
come to embrace the role. One of the steps he took to step into that leadership position has been
a commitment to improving his fitness. Davis has logged 2,000 minutes
for the third season in a row, a feat he achieved just once in his first
six years in the league. 

“I felt like I was a young kid and I could get away with anything,”
Davis said of his early career. “I felt my talent was there, but I was
injured way too much to really help my team do anything. So I took it into my own hands and have been really paying attention and working
out hard, and now I’m starting to really reap the benefits of that. I
didn’t realize how important it was and what I needed to be doing.”

Fit and providing an all-around presence on the field, Davis has played
his way into serious consideration for the league’s MVP award. His
ability to create scoring chances — according to Opta, Davis leads the
league in that category by a wide margin — has put Davis squarely in the conversation for
the award and a possible national team call-up. With eight games left in the regular season and a playoff run looking
more and more likely, Davis has a chance to push this season to new
heights.

“If you’re a player and you take pride in what you do, you want people
to recognize what you do,” Davis said. “Most importantly, though, you
want to help your team win, and that’s what you’re out there to do.”

Darrell Lovell covers the Houston Dynamo for MLSsoccer.com. Follow him on twitter at @Dynamoexaminer.