The Houston Dynamo are enjoying a resurgence of form in 2011, and part of the reason is they've been taking full advantage of one of their strengths: Brad Davis.
The left-sided midfielder has been an integral part of the Dynamo attack for a number of years in both the run of play and on set-pieces. He's considered one of the top ball-strikers in MLS, and his ability to provide service to teammates is unmatched around the league.
“He’s very consistent and puts a lot of pace on his balls,” head coach Dominic Kinnear said. “If the timing’s right, it’s very hard to defend.”
Davis' set-piece acumen is well-known throughout MLS. Armed with a group of big targets who know what to do with the ball in front of the net, Davis is constantly providing dangerous opportunities for his teammates. In addition to his proficiency on set-pieces, Davis is playing the role of creator in the run of play. The 29-year-old midfielder has a knack for setting up his teammates in positions and putting them into spaces to create scoring chances.
"It’s been my job with this team since I came here,” Davis said. “It’s to get the ball wide and try and get good balls in the box, especially on set-pieces because we’ve got some big guys in there who can really challenge for the ball.”
Davis’ good run early in 2011 is a big reason why the Dynamo are off to fast start. Assisting on four of the team's seven goals this year after leading the club in assists in 2009 and 2010 with 12, Davis is showing, once again, that he’s the engine that makes the Houston attack go.
“If you make good runs, Brad will serve a good ball,” said defender Bobby Boswell, who has scored off two Davis assists this season. “He hits a great ball, and as a defender it’s very hard to defend that type of ball and it will bounce around in there, and if we can capitalize on that we’ll keep having success.”
Darrell Lovell covers the Houston Dynamo for MLSsoccer.com. Follow him on twitter at @Dynamoexaminer.