HOUSTON – Brad Davis lost his cool. He’ll admit that.
In the 95th minute of Sunday’s 1-1 draw against the Colorado Rapids, Davis cut across the field and threw himself into a challenge that left former teammate Nathan Sturgis in a heap. Referee Juan Guzman reached directly for his back pocket, and Davis – who was already on a yellow – saw red for the fourth time in his 13 years in the league.
Davis’ reaction to the call certainly wasn’t completely composed, and it was result of a culmination of a series of calls – or non-calls – over the course of the game. With the game winding down, the Dynamo captain’s blood was at full boil.
“After I just got that yellow card, I just lost my head a little bit,” Davis said. “I don’t think it was a straight red, but I think he was looking after our little scuffle we had. I actually talked to the ref at halftime and asked him to be more consistent. There was a lot of inconsistency, so finally I kind of lost it.”
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The scuffle Davis mentioned was an animated conversation with Guzman after a 91st-minute free kick. Davis felt the Dynamo did not get a call minutes before when Sturgis fouled Warren Creavalle. A minute later, Eric Brunner was whistled for a foul on Danny Mwanga that gave the Rapids a dangerous free kick.
In both instances, there was contact. But one was called and the other wasn’t. Animated in his claims, Davis was booked.
“Honestly, I don’t know what he gave me the first one for,” Davis said. “If he writes dissent, that wasn’t dissent. I never cursed, I never did anything. I was just quite agitated that there wasn’t a foul called before. But I’ve got to keep my head and I didn’t.
“To be honest, the captain and the ref have got to able to have a conversation and talk. You’ve got to have a little bit of leeway. In that situation, I don’t think he gave me any.”
Davis’ outburst didn’t get him sent off, of course. His tackle on Sturgis did. Even then there was some discussion on how severe the foul was, especially in comparison to other transgressions in a physical affair.
“I went in and saw it and I thought it was on par with a couple of other tackles that were going on out there and I’ll leave it at that,” Dynamo head coach Dominic Kinnear said. “I think there were some things out there – on both sides – that could’ve possibly been paid a little more attention to. That sometimes leads to guys being a little too frustrated.”
That frustration was understandable in a game that came down to two teams looking to impose their will on each other, especially in the second half when the Dynamo raised the intensity to match Colorado’s first-half efforts.
“I think we weren’t physical enough in the first half, and that’s why it got real kind of crazy in the second half,” said Bobby Boswell, who suffered a head wound from a game-long battle with Atiba Harris. “If we come out and show the same fight and bite in the first, we maybe wear them down sooner and take care of business.”
Darrell Lovell covers the Houston Dynamo for MLSsoccer.com.