Explaining the greatness of Brad Davis

Opta stats help explain why Houston's ace should be in the MVP discussion

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Photo Credit: 
Anthony Vasser / Houston Dynamo

They call the Houston Dynamo's Brad Davis the “left-footed David Beckham.” But he’s better than Beckham this year.

The numbers tell the story.

According to Opta statistics, Davis leads the league in “Chances Created”: any key pass that leads to a shot. This could be anything from a flick-on, to a corner kick, a through-ball or a set-piece.

There is a reason that the Dynamo midfield maestro is tops in MLS with 13 assists. He has generated an MLS-high 84 chances for his club.

Even when you take into consideration the fact that he played 500 more minutes than Beckham, he still has more chances created per 90 minutes than Beckham.

Among the other highlights from this list: all of Fire winger Patrick Nyarko’s chances created have come during open play (38) and they nearly match Davis (39) for the league lead.

In addition to Davis, Beckham and Portland Timbers midfielder Jack Jewsbury have more chances created via set pieces than during the run of play, which point to the dead ball prowess of these sides.

Seattle Sounders midfielder Mauro Rosales is third in the league for chances created per 90 minutes (2.67), just a fraction behind Beckham for second place.

Lastly, although he figures among the Top 10 in chances created, Columbus Crew winger Eddie Gaven is yet to register a single assist all season.

Still, no one is better than Brad Davis, although the latest U.S. national team call-ups may not say so.

MLS Leaders In Chances Created

  PLAYER CHANCES OPEN PLAY SET PIECES PER 90 MIN
1 Davis (HOU) 84 39 45 3.44
2 Beckham (LA) 51 19 32 2.70
3 Le Toux (PHI) 48 32 16 2.00
4 Rosales (SEA) 47 33 14 2.67
5 Lindpere (NY) 43 30 13 1.66
6 Jewsbury (POR) 39 12 27 1.62
7 Nyarko (CHI) 38 38 0 2.20
8 Gaven (CLB) 38 21 17 1.75
9 Beckerman (RSL) 37 22 15 1.70
10 Zusi (SKC) 37 21 16 2.07