HOUSTON - MAY 12: Brad Davis #11 of the Houston Dynamo celebrates his goal in the 67th minute against D.C. United at BBVA Compass Stadium on May 12, 2012 in Houston, Texas. Houston defeated D.C. United 1-0. (Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images)
In the 67th minute, Co-Captain of the Houston Dynamo, Brad Davis opened his account with El Banco. The first goal to be scored in BBVA Compass Stadium will also be remembered for not only its significance, but for how right the moment felt. It was fitting for Brian Ching to score the first and last goals at Robertson Stadium, and it was fitting for Brad Davis to score the first goal at BBVA Compass Stadium.
To many of us, Davis is as much a Captain and Cap'n is. There were times last season when Brad was essentially the only form of offense we had. Okay, truth be told, he was almost always the only form of offense last season, and this fact was even more evident to all of MLS in the Cup Final when he was injured and the team could generate nothing offensively. That, however, was last season, and this is this season. The 2012 MLS Regular Season.
The 2012 season will forever be remembered for the Stadium's christening by Brad Davis, and I'm elated I had the opportunity to watch the game -- even on TV. NBC sports did a phenomenal job with the presentation, and the announcers (Arlo White is a soccer announcing GOD) were spot on. In fact, if my memory serves, they did not even flub up names of players. Even before the goal was scored, I found the game entertaining to watch -- as evidenced in the Live Game Thread I was posting Live in. But enough about the history, time to focus on the game. Not on what it meant, but on what I saw, and what I wanted to see.
What I wanted to see most? Watson not starting or being subbed earlier. He provided absolutely zero offense, and even worse, stifled the offensive flow more than he ever helped it. I will eat some crow, and say I think I have found a position he might actually be suited for (I know, kill me now), but I would be remiss if I didn't point out Watson's speed could actually allow for him to be a potential outside back. He is certainly no midfield, and he certainly should not find himself starting there going forward.
There was much joy and elating when Watson was subbed out around the 60th minute -- I'd have the exact time, but the Dynamo website seems to be lacking it --, and it was followed VERY shortly by more joy and elation as the substitution immediately paid dividends. Luis Carmago proved why he deserves to start again by coming into the game and instantly providing a tempo and flow to the Dynamo offense it had been lacking until then. Coupled by the introduction of Colin Clark at RM for Calen Carr, and the Dynamo found themselves pushing hard and heavy repeatedly.
It was the Carmago substitution which provided the necessary push to allow Brade Davis the space to gather the ball at his feet, shift himself away from a defender and then wheel back and fire a golazo which will forever be etched in the minds of Orange Faithful. It was also the Brazilian Midfielder who continued to provide offensive pressure on the DC United backline, and nearly helped the Dynamo go up by a second goal not too much longer after the first.
Going forward from this game, I can only hope and pray Dominic Kinnear saw what we saw. I can only imagine he knows he needs to get Luis Carmago Starting XI fit, as the difference when he is on the field with Davis versus when Watson is on the field with Davis is just simply astounding. Also, I can only hope Kinnear took note of how even when the chance fell to Watson, the one time he happened to be in the right place and the right time, he did not have the composure to make it count.
Look, I know I've given this a lot of play, but the fact remains: when a professional soccer player misses a chance like Watson had at the end of the second half, and plays with the same consistency he has always played with -- read: absolutely pathetic -- then said player should not be allowed to continue in the same vein. Kinnear has a history at giving too much leeway to guys who aren't performing up to what we'd consider a certain standard of play, and then not giving play time to those who have shown the potential -- no, I do NOT refer to Dixon here either -- to elevate their level of play well beyond the pathetic. Damn, I'm so far on a tangent it's ridiculous now...
Suffice it to say, Watson's career in Houston is coming to an end some day soon. He simply can't continue to play like he has, and not find himself on the outside looking in. Let's just hope it happens before he ends up actually costing them a game.
Returning to the game, I loved what I saw from Carmago and even Clark. They didn't just create, they elevated the atmosphere and the level of play of those around them. Even Mac Kandji looked decent on the ball. I dare say there are some terrific combinations up top and in midfield which Dom should fancy a chance to play around with, some which we may see more and more as the season progresses.
Also, final note here, Geoff Cameron's haircut leaves something to be desired. It's not good. Bring back the fauxhawk, Geoff. Please. It just needs to happen. Just like Watson being shown the door. Okay okay, enough of me beating the dead horse.
In conclusion, Brad Davis is Dynamo Legend. Brad Davis is better than that guy who plays on that team from somewhere in California. Brian Ching will still open his account at El Banco, and it won't be too long from now either. It's time for Carmago to start at CAM. And most of all, Pepto Bismol Pink for Tally Hall the Wall has begun to grow on me for a Keeper Kit. I still say he needs to sell the Gameworn Kit after every game and donate the proceeds to Breast Cancer Awareness.