After a quiet spring, Brad Davis is enjoying his summer.
As the heat sets in, Houston’s talisman is starting to round into form and it is no coincidence that the Dynamo are surging as a result. Davis’ season got off to a slow start due, in large part, to the same quad injury that kept him out of the 2011 MLS Cup. After an April calf injury cost him an additional two matches, the result was a start that produced just two goals and two assists in the first 13 matches.
But as the effects of his injuries fade, Davis is returning to his 2011 form, notching three goals and six assists in the past eight matches and playing a key role in Houston’s mid-season move up the standings.
WATCH: Davis chips one in vs. Philly
“It’s still coming and I’m trying to find my groove from my leg [injury],” Davis said. “It’s not that I’ve had a terrible season, but I haven’t had the normal start that I’m used to, [even though] my role has changed a bit as well. It was tough getting going at the beginning of the year but I’m definitely feeling stronger and feeling better and I feel like things are turning around and hopefully they continue to go in a positive direction.”
With the injury woes behind him and production returning, Davis is feeling well while adapting to the fresh challenge of a new position in Houston’s 4-3-3.
The left-footed sniper has moved central as part of a triangle midfield where he is tasked with more responsibilities, namely on the defensive side where he is asked to track runners and deal with more traffic as teams try and push the ball up the center of the pitch.
“It’s not always about making tackles either," said midfielder Adam Moffat, who has missed the last three matches with an adductor strain. "A lot of it is about being in the right position and getting yourself back in quickly and having shape. [Brad is] a smart player so defensively it’s something he’ll work on, but it helps he’s willing to get stuck in and get in on challenges.”
If the move changed anything for Davis it appears to be for the better. Since the move, Davis has been a force, helping to drive the Dynamo attack – which scored nine goals in three wins last week – and a defense that has allowed just two goals in six games in their new system.
While he got off to a slower than expected start, Davis is starting to be the difference-maker the Dynamo are accustomed to having.
“He’s an excellent soccer player and is a big help in so many ways for us,” head coach Dominic Kinnear said of Davis. “He’s confident and is in great shape. It took a while for everyone to figure [the system] out, myself included, but when he’s on the ball we’re a better team.”
Darrell Lovell covers the Houston Dynamo for MLSsoccer.com.