When Brad Davis went down with a right quad injury in the first half of the Eastern Conference championship game on Sunday, many believed his absence would hurt the Dynamo’s chances on the night. However, Davis’ forced absence actually boosted his team more than he would ever know, as the Dynamo stormed out of LIVESTRONG Sporting Park with a 2-0 win and a berth in MLS Cup 2011.
“We know the caliber of player Brad is,” defender Geoff Cameron said. “We know he’s a fantastic player and considered an MVP. But everyone stepped their game up and said, ‘We’re going to do this for him, we’re going to win.’ I think everyone was lifted on the field today. It was a tribute to him, and we’re glad to win the game for him.”
Davis’ injury occurred in the 36th minute of the match, just minutes before the halftime whistle. Although his teammates could not spot Davis in the locker during the break — he was being treated by doctors in an adjacent room — they were thinking about him as they kicked off the second 45 minutes.
“To watch your MVP go down and someone who has been so intricate to this team, I was sad for him,” winger Danny Cruz said. “This was an amazing moment, and he’s a big part of the reason we’re here. I was sad for him, but at the same time it gave us a little bit of a bite, and we wanted to do it for him.”
Added forward Calen Carr, “A lot of people didn’t give us much a of a chance to go through, especially when Brad went down, but we showed our heart and we’re going to the final.”
Assuming Davis’ responsibilities on set pieces on Saturday was Adam Moffat, who was relayed a message from the coaching staff that he became the new set-piece specialist. And he performed like one, serving a 53rd-minute free kick that was eventually scored by Andre Hainault.
"It’s sad,” said Moffat, who missed the Columbus Crew's 2008 postseason run while injured. “What a player to lose. … He’s honestly the MVP with all the chances he creates and the balls he puts in the air. He’s a great leader. … We went in there believing and slugging it out. We didn’t give up on anything.”
That same approach will be needed for the MLS Cup final on Nov. 20, when the Dynamo will face the LA Galaxy at The Home Depot Center. That’s because Davis confirmed to MLSsoccer.com shortly after the final whistle that the quad injury will rule him out for the rest of the competitive season.
“Brad’s obviously a leader, not on the team, but even in the league,” goalkeeper Tally Hall said. “We can’t replace him, but we have a deep team and we’re confident.”
Said Cruz, “When you see someone like that go do down, all it does is urge you to want to get the win for him. It got us going, and at the end of the day he did a lot for us and that’s not a secret.”