With the injury to Michael Bradley and yellow card accumulation suspensions to Jozy Altidore, Matt Besler, and Geoff Cameron that came out of the US national team's 3-1 loss in Costa Rica Friday night, everyone knew a roster shakeup was coming. News that Houston Dynamo midfielder Brad Davis was one of the four called up (Joe Corona, Clarence Goodson, and Jose Torres being the others) wasn't really a surprise to many people, though the timing left many fans a little miffed - especially after the Davis-less Dynamo went on to lose to the New York Red Bulls 4-1 less than twenty-four hours later.
Would Davis' inclusion in the Dynamo squad Sunday have made enough of a difference to change that? Who knows - and honestly, it's a moot point by now. But a common point that I saw many fans make was that after the late call, it would be a slap in the face of Dynamo fans - adding insult to injury, so to speak - were Davis not to play tonight.
And there's a good part of me that agrees with them. The honor of wearing the national team's colors is great enough, I realize, but to lose a key player to sit on the bench in Columbus when he could've been contributing in Houston last Sunday would leave a good portion of the orange faithful mad at the national team coach, an awkward disparity between club and country that normally shouldn't exist.
We've seen it before, of course - Davis called up for qualifiers just to sit on the bench or not even make the eighteen. Will Bruin and Corey Ashe both getting named to the Gold Cup squad, only to see a grand total of zero minutes between them. Brian Ching called up for the 2006 World Cup roster only to be given a German excursion with no playing time on the pitch. Dynamo players have, of course, featured for the national team before, as the official Dynamo Twitter account has pointed out:
#DosACero 2009 Edition, featuring @BrianChing. #USAvMEX #USMNT #ForeverOrange pic.twitter.com/WdkD031gzP— HoustonDynamo (@HoustonDynamo) September 10, 2013
But those moments seem to be vastly outnumbered by the so-called "benchwarmer callups" - where Dynamo fans feel like their stars are just players there to round out the roster. Don't get me wrong, I'd kill for the chance to represent the United States in anything - there are few things as prestigious as that national team crest - but with the Dynamo slumping at the moment, fans would prefer to see international absences lead to results on the international stage, if only to salve the wounds the club is taking without its key players.
Do I want to see the national team win tonight? Of course. Would I be mad if Davis doesn't play? Not necessarily. Even as a Dynamo I get that there are many other factors taken into consideration regarding the lineup that Jurgen Klinsmann will run out against El Tri. That being said, I could picture nothing better than the USMNT clinching a spot in Brazil (on how that's possible, read here) off of a game winning goal that was set up by a Brad Davis assist.
What about you, Dynamo fans? Would you be angry or upset if Davis doesn't play tonight? Or, like me, are you willing to but what's best for the country ahead of our love for the orange where the national team is concerned?