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Despite quad injury, Davis calls 2011 "surreal"

It has been a roller coaster 72 hours for the Houston Dynamo’s Brad Davis. A day after suffering what could be a season-ending injury in the Dynamo’s 2-0 Eastern Conference championship game win over Sporting Kansas City, Davis was notified that he is a finalist for the MLS MVP award.

“Ironically, I think [the key] was me staying healthy,” said Davis, who is also a candidate for the MLS W.O.R.K.S. Humanitarian of the Year award for his work with Brad’s Brigade. “This year, I’ve been able to step on the field every time. It’s tough now, because of what’s going on with the injury situation, but it’s been a good year.”

Davis will most likely miss MLS Cup with what the Dynamo have termed a right quad strain. He went to ground clutching his upper leg in the first half of Houston's eventual victory at Sporting KC. But the injury does not take anything away from what has been a career year for the left midfielder. He was a rock for Houston, playing 2,892 regular-season minutes and, in the process, playing in every MLS game in 2011.

He parlayed that time on the pitch into the MLS assist title with a career-high 16 regular-season assists while scoring four goals for the Dynamo. Davis kept up his high level of play in the playoffs, contributing two assists against the Philadelphia Union in the Eastern Conference semifinals. Even with the injury, the success made 2011 a special season for the left-footed playmaker.

“It’s been surreal for me,” Davis told MLSsoccer.com on Tuesday about being named an MVP finalist, alongside D.C. United’s Dwayne De Rosario and FC Dallas’ Brek Shea. “It’s an unbelievable honor, especially when you think about the other guys who have won the awards, or been up for them. This is a big time in my life; even if I don’t win the award, it’s an honor to be in the top three. Dwayne’s such a great player, and so is Brek.”

While being mentioned with those great players is an individual honor, Davis was quick to point out the role his team has played in his success.

“It’s a great honor, and it shows not just where I am, but that without this team turning things around and guys getting the right attitude, I don’t think I’d have a chance to win,” Davis said. “It’s a special moment, and you sit back and hope people realize what you’ve done and that you’re a part of a great team. For the guys to come out and say some of the things they did really means a lot to me. I can’t wait to get back with the guys and be involved in the locker room and help them any way I can to push ‘til the end.”

The Humanitarian of the Year award will be announced on Wednesday, while the MVP will be announced on Nov. 18, two days before the Dynamo make a bid for their third championship in six years. If everything goes well, Davis could be celebrating with his teammates twice that weekend.

Darrell Lovell covers the Houston Dynamo for MLSsoccer.com.