Brad Davis is eager to show Jurgen Klinsmann he's a fit for USMNT World Cup squad: "I'm ready for the challenge"
Brad Davis knew an email was coming. He knew USMNT head coach Jurgen Klinsmann would be releasing his preliminary World Cup roster.
In his truck just minutes from home trying to stay busy, his phone buzzed. It was the email he'd been waiting for, he made the 30. He is moving on to the next step towards Brazil.
After hugging his family, the group he attributes with helping get him here, Davis settled in. While the feeling’s great, there is still work to be done.
"This is a huge moment not just for me but for my family. It was a really emotional moment for all of us,” Davis told the media on a conference call. “By no means have I come to the realization that I’ve made the final 23, but it is another step. I’m extremely excited about this opportunity right here, but I still have a lot of work to do.”
Being on the 30-man roster is an accomplishment. It is also a reminder that there are seven of those players who won't make the trip to Brazil.
After two years in the system, he heads to Palo Alto, California, for a camp having shown what he can do on the field. What is left for him to do to clinch a spot: show Klinsmann he is a fit for his system.
"I don’t think I’d be sitting here with this opportunity if I wasn’t part of his plans,” Davis said. “Where we’re at as a group is: how are we going to gel together? How are we going to win? How are we going to become a winning group together?
“Obviously in the next two friendlies we have to show well, but over the course of the week it’s just mentally,” he continued. “I think he’s seen a lot of the soccer for us. I think he’s going to try and see where everybody mentally is at, how hard can you push yourself?”
Likely he has done a lot of that leg work already. Despite his share of critics, he has consistently been a contributor for Klinsmann, appearing in six World Cup qualifiers after making just five national team appearances previously.
After thinking his national team time was done, he prepares to depart for Palo Alto Wednesday and has two weeks to continue conveying his use to the coaching staff.
"There’s no reason for me not to be confident to go in and take this opportunity and just go for it,” Davis said. “I’ve come this far and I’ve done very well with my opportunities and I think I’m playing some good ball right now.
“I’m ready for the challenge, I’m up for it and I feel like I’m in a good spot mentally and am looking forward to it.”
Darrell Lovell covers the Houston Dynamo for MLSsoccer.com.