HOUSTON – The strategy for beating the Houston Dynamo in recent years had an easy starting point: Neutralize Brad Davis.
The veteran left-footed midfielder is the de facto playmaker for the team and he's been an assist-machine, registering double-digit helpers in each of the past four seasons.
But these days it's become an even more difficult task for teams to key on Davis. That's because Davis now has a trusted sidekick in Boniek Garcia, who shares facilitator duties for the Dynamo and has proven critical in helping to pull the strings in the club's three-man central midfield.
“I think teams are really starting to pay attention to him, and if they haven’t yet, they’re going to,” Davis said. “When you have that happen, it creates space for other players and that’s a big thing.”
Davis and Garcia have clicked from day one, and their uncanny chemistry in Houston’s midfield triangle gives the Dynamo the kind of service that the players are eager to capitalize on.
“I always say good players can play together no matter what," Dynamo head coach Dominic Kinnear said on Monday. "They don’t need time. They’re two good players, a little different but both good on the ball and see the good passes and good movements. I think they see the game, probably, the same way from two different parts of the world. Good players can play with good players.”
Added Davis: “I think it’s been a good partnership and it’s one of those things where the language barrier hasn’t been too much of a barrier. When you get around players like him, you believe in his ability and try and put yourself in good spots and trust what he’s going to do."
That trust has yielded a freedom and increased production for Davis. With more space to operate, he has produced four goals and seven assists since Garcia’s arrival.
“We have more of a threat there because teams have to worry about both of them,” said Houston forward Will Bruin. “Both of them can put balls on anybody’s foot so it’s double the threat there. They’re playing well together and off each other. [That partnership’s] working really well for us.”
Darrell Lovell covers the Houston Dynamo for MLSsoccer.com.