We've known all year that the Houston Dynamo midfielder Brad Davis is one of several players "on the bubble," so to speak, when it comes to the roster of the U.S. men's national team for the World Cup finals in Brazil next summer. Dynamo fans have been up and down on Davis' chances, especially when it would seem that he kept getting called up to the national team only to practice, and not even get a chance to suit up on the bench for the matches.
That all changed Tuesday night. With the US assured of a top finish in the CONCACAF qualifiers and several of the "first team" players either injured or not called up, Davis found himself on the bench as the US took on a desperate Panama side in Panama City. He came on for Brad Evans in the 56th minute, and slotted right into his familiar spot on the left side of the midfield. With the Americans trailing 1-0 (and Panama playing for everything), it looked as if it would just be a chance for Davis to get some minutes for the national team, and hope for a shot to impress coach Jurgen Klinsmann somehow.
We'll find out later if Jurgen was impressed, but American fans (and Mexican fans, due to the circumstances) certainly were. Davis assisted on both of the tying goals, Michael Orozco's in the 64th and Graham Zusi's in stoppage time, and he did so in ways that Dynamo fans are certainly familiar with. It was his delivery on a corner kick that led to Orozco's first equalizer, and a sublime cross to Zusi that stunned Panama in added time.
All in all, it was an impressive performance for Davis and the Americans - a match they didn't have to win (and that many fans were actually hoping they'd lose), and yet they came to play and ended up with three points. It's much too early to tell whether or not this performance would put Davis over the top and into the roster for next summer, but if he does make it, this match will certainly be one of the reasons why.