Tag Archive | "Brad Davis"

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MLS Goal of the Week Week 10

Posted on 14 May 2012 by Kyle Alm

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David Estrada tracks Corey Ashe.

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Seattle Sounders Houston Dynamo

Posted on 24 March 2012 by Kyle Alm

Houston Dynamo brought an undefeated record and maximum points into CenturyLink Field to face Seattle Sounders fresh off of their St. Patrick’s Day victory on the strength of MLS Player of the Week, David Estrada. Houston, a perennial Western power, now finds itself atop the Eastern Conference after defeating San Jose Earthquakes & Chivas USA.

David Estrada tracks Corey Ashe.

Houston’s style is much more physical and direct than Seattle’s, even though both sides play a 4-4-2. Houston’s forwards are not as fast as Seattle’s, but they are larger and better in the air. Houston will try and get the ball in a dangerous set piece position and try to get fouled to set up their goal. Seattle relies more on movement off the ball and passing to open up defenses.

In the 23rd minute David Estrada was sitting at the top of the circle waiting for a rebound on a corner kick, when the ball dropped right at his feet. Estrada struck the ball that deflected off of Geoff Cameron and past Tally Hall for what would later be credited as an own-goal.

Patrick Ianni drew a penalty on a corner in the 27th minute when Geoff Cameron ran under the Sounders defender while he was in the air winning the ball. Brad Evans converted the Sounders first PK of the year without incident to put the Sounders up 2-0. Although there is little disagreement about whether or not Ianni was fouled, there is some suspicion cast on the consistency of a PK being awarded for that infringement.

Andre Hainault was subbed at the half for Jermaine Taylor, the only substituion made by either side at half. Hainault was involved with a collision with Brad Evans that left him a little hobbled. Brad Evans would later sub off.

53′ Roger Levesque gets a sitter from Alvaro Fernandez drew a collective groan from the CenturyLink crowd when the ball tails off wide right. Levesque had the ball fall perfectly for him in front of the net with time to shoot and missed horribly. Levesque had a decent game other than that, he made several one-touch passes in the attack, but he didn’t really stretch the field or pose a threat on the flank for Mauro Rosales.

Almost immediately Will Bruin was on the counter attack was in a deep position near the six yard box, but was off-balance and unable  to get any power behind his header.

61′ Servando Carrasco for Brad Evans due to the previously mentioned collision with Hainault. There was no word on the extent of his injury after the game, but it is not thought to be serious.

Houston is not a team known for an open style of play, being down two goals is not conducive to their style of play. Sounders played for possession much of the second half, and looked good doing so, impressive without Mauro Rosales. Houston brought on Macoumba Kanji for Ching 76th minute countered by Leo Gonzalez for Roger Levesque, a tactical defensive move in 81st.

There was a bit of controversy towards the end of the match after Brad Davis was shown a caution for persistent infringement earlier in the 78th minute. Fernandez took an elbow or shoulder check on one of his off the ball runs. Either the ref thought El Flaco was simulating or Davis caught a break because he was already carrying a caution, either scenario should not play out as a no-call.

Michael Gspurning was only called into action for two saves the entire night, granted it was two more than Tally Hall made and in the end that’s all that matters.

38,304 in attendance.

For more photos from the match, check out the slideshow gallery: http://americansoccernews.net/2012/mls/photo-gallery-mls/photo-gallery-sounders-fc-vs-houston-dynamo/

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ASN’s MLS Best XI, Week 10: Ruiz was more than just his golazo

Posted on 25 May 2011 by Breton Bonnette

The defense continues to rule the day in Major League Soccer but the little offense seen in Week 10 was memorable to say the least. Carlos Ruiz of Philadelphia and Bobby Convey (San Jose) provided two highlight-reel, Goal of the Year candidates as both of their squads rolled to victory. One of them turned it into a Player of the Week performance. Defenders were at the forefront yet again, however, with seven teams posting shutouts. Is it a product of some of the league’s best attackers being sidelined with injury or simply a testament to the improvement of the collective defensive pool of talent in Major League Soccer?

ASN’s MLS Best XI, Week 10

GK: Matt Pickens, Colorado

Pickens was kept relatively busy as the Rapids and Toronto FC fought to a 0-0 tie. The Reds tested Pickens on several occasions but it was the Rapids netminder who walked away feeling that Colorado left important points on the table. The Rapids haven’t dominated and Pickens has had to earn the five-game unbeaten streak that the Rapids currently are on. This is his first appearance in the Best XI.

DEF: Jeff Parke, Seattle

It was his defensive performance against Sporting Kansas City that turned heads but he was also the deciding factor on the scoresheet as well. An injury time header from the Pennsylvania native gave the Sounders the full three points and kept Sporting’s skid rolling. The biggest part of a defensive performance that kept Kei Kamara, Omar Bravo, AND Teal Bunbury quiet. It was Parke’s first goal since 2004.

DEF: Sheanon Williams, Philadelphia

Williams was all over PPL Park against Chicago and it was his goal line save that allowed the Union to stay at 1-1 before Carlos Ruiz’s golazo put them ahead for good. The Fire’s Puerari muscled behind Michael Farfan and was free on goal. His shot beat Mondragon but right at a backpedaling Williams. Somehow, Williams was able to get enough of a flick on it to send it wide of the post. His night didn’t start or end there. He was also a big part of the Union offense, flying up and down the right wing.

DEF: Richard Eckersley, Toronto FC

The Reds are slowly getting better and a lot of it has to do with the insertion of Eckersley, on loan from Burnley of the English Championship, into the lineup. He was a consistent presence on the right side for Toronto.  This is his first time making the Best XI.

MID: Dane Richards, New York

The Red Bulls will miss Richards dearly as he is set to leave for national team duty in the 2011 Gold Cup. Aside from his screamer in the first 60 seconds of the match against Houston, Richards was a constant problem for the Dynamo defense. He has matured as a player since Thierry Henry came on board and though his crossing is still subpar, Richards is routinely considered now one of the most dangerous players in Major League Soccer.  

MID: Brad Davis, Houston

Davis is having one of his best season’s for Houston this year. He is the point man for pretty much everything on the pitch and he’s reliable in that position. He converted the penalty to erase Dane Richards’ early score and distributed the whole game. His consistency has for the most part gone unmatched this year and as we close in on the one-third mark, he should be a lock for future Best XI honors. This is his third inclusion in the ASN Best XI.

MID: Dominic Oduro, Chicago

There’s a reason he’s called Birdman. The Fire didn’t use him enough against Philadelphia and, in the Union’s defense, Jordan Harvey did well with him when they tried to. Once the rookie Farfan was put back at leftback, however, Oduro scored the equalizer – using his pace to blow by the rookie and tie up the game.

MID: Khalif Alhassan, Portland

Alhassan loves JELD-WEN and understandably so. His best games have been at home, where the Timbers have built a fortress with five straight wins. Alhassan, once again, showed his technical ability and skill keeping the Crew’s generally solid defense on their toes. It’s relatively surprising that this is only the second time he has been selected in the Best XI (once being named Player of the Week).

MID: Mikael Yourassowsky, Toronto FC

He provided a lot of pep for the Reds on both sides of park. The Belgian registered Toronto’s best attempt on net halfway through the second half, clanging a shot off of the crossbar. His work in the midfield kept Colorado from taking control early on or ever really establishing any sort of dominance. This is his first time making the Best XI.

FWD: Tommy Heinemann, Columbus

He reminds me a little bit of Steven Lenhart, now with the San Jose Earthquakes. Heinemann was absolutely everywhere against the Crew as Columbus fell 1-0 to the Portland Timbers at JELD-WEN. It was Heinemann who had the best chances for the Crew and the arguement could be made that he should have put at least one away. His work ethic and determination should get him goals at some point this season.

FWD: Carlos Ruiz, Philadelphia *ASN’s PLAYER OF THE WEEK*El Pescadito was much, much more than the left-footed golazo that doused the visiting Chicago Fire. His first touch and ability to hold up the ball was absolutely vital, especially as the Union’s offense continues to find its legs. He had several combination plays with former Fire player Justin Mapp that almost convinced Union fans that the Philadelphia attack was here to stay.

Bench: Nick Rimando, Real Salt Lake; Landon Donovan, Los Angeles; Chris Tierney, New England; Shalrie Joseph, New England; Brek Shea, FC Dallas; Mikael Yourassowsky, Toronto FC; George John, FC Dallas; Michael Farfan, Philadelphia; Eric Brunner, Portland


MLS Best XI, Week 9

MLS Best XI, Week 8

MLS Best XI, Week 7

MLS Best XI, Week 6

MLS Best XI, Week 5

MLS Best XI, Week 4

MLS Best XI, Week 3

MLS Best XI, Week 2

MLS Best XI, Week 1

Courtesy of MLSSoccer.com

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ASN’s MLS Best XI, Week 7: Bruin impresses but Davis fuels Houston statement win

Posted on 04 May 2011 by Breton Bonnette

Our job is to pick the individuals that stood out in the past week of Major League Soccer play and there many that did but ultimately, it was the team that was on display in Week 7. Statement wins from Seattle (coming off Zakuani’s injury), Houston (shaky start to the season), Chivas USA (recent subpar play), and Philadelphia (ten men) were big as both Western Conference powers Los Angeles and Real Salt Lake fell to FC Dallas and Portland respectively. Individuals played their part, though, with a rookie stealing the show. It was his supplier, however, who walked away with Week 7’s ASN Player of the Week honors.  

ASN’s MLS Best XI, Week 7

GK: Jimmy Nielsen (Kansas City)

Nielsen’s name was considered one of the best signings of last season and, despite a 1-0 loss to the New York Red Bulls, he showed why 2011 is no different this past weekend. The Danish keeper kept Kansas City in a match that looked set to blow wide open early on, stopping a Rafa Marquez penalty kick and making several clutch saves before Luke Rodgers dampened an impressive showing.

DEF: Jeremy Hall (Portland)

A force on the right flank when asked to play fullback for the Timbers against Real Salt Lake. The former Terp has come a long way since rookie year and several tumultuous showings at right back for the New York Red Bulls. Hall, however, stood out against Salt Lake, helping them to a big 1-0 win providing further confirmation that winning at JELD-WEN is going to be a very difficult task for visiting teams.

DEF: Carlos Valdes (Philadelphia)

Another stellar defensive outing from Valdes, especially so as he and Califf were given even more responsibility than usual with both wingbacks pushing up high early on.  Then, after Harvey’s ejection, as the Union continued to attack, it was the steady hand of Valdes that insured that no quick counterattack or long ball challenged the Philadelphia goal.  So solid has Carlos’ play been that it seems fruitless to try and point out the myriad positive plays he makes in this space.  Instead, one must try and identify any mistakes.  As has been the case more often than not this season, there were none against San Jose. – Sam Toma, ASN Philly

It’s Valdes’ THIRD appearance in the ASN Best XI to go with one bench appearance.

DEF: George John (FC Dallas)

John’s second consecutive appearance in ASN’s Best XI and once again, well deserved. John and his defensive compatriots held the Galaxy as the Hoops offense found two goals to beat the Western Conference leaders. He was largely responsible for limiting the influence of Juan Pablo Angel and has quickly become one of Schellas Hyndman’s most trusted defensive picks.

MID: Brad Evans (Seattle)

Sigi Schmid often talks about the hidden and underlying influence that Brad Evans has on any particular Sounders game. There was nothing under-the-radar, however, about his game against Toronto FC this past weekend. He took part in all three goals, scoring two and assisting the other. With Zakuani out, the Sounders are not surprisingly playing each game like its their last with a sense of urgency and center midfielders, Osvaldo Alonso and Evans are at the forefront of that.

MID: Brad Davis (Houston) – ASN’s PLAYER OF THE WEEK

Davis played architect yet again in the Dynamo’s 4-1 thrashing of DC United. It’s one thing for a striker to make a nice off-the-ball run but there has to be that person to provide the perfect service for him to hammer home. If it weren’t for Brad Davis, Will Bruin wouldn’t have had the breakout game he did. There’s still a young history in Houston but I must recommend that Davis is starting to take over that “face of the franchise” role from Brian Ching. His second appearance in the Best XI this season.

MID: Dwayne De Rosario (New York)

Hans Backe doesn’t want De Rosario to play for Canada in this summer’s Gold Cup. Could a lot of it have to do with his performance in the Red Bulls 1-0 win over Sporting Kansas City? DeRo looked the part, causing a porous Kansas City defense problems and causing the foul that led to botch Rafa Marquez penalty attempt. The former MVP set Luke Rodgers up with an easy gamewinner as the Red Bulls continue to lead the Eastern Conference. It’s DeRo’s second time in the Best XI this season.

MID: Amobi Okugo (Philadelphia)

Left as the sole defensive midfielder to help anchor the defense, it was trial by fire for the rapidly developing Okugo.   From early on, it was clear that Amobi was up to the task, as he not only stood tall in defense, but was happy to keep the ball and move forward to initiate the attack.   Then, at halftime, when Stefani Miglioranzi came on to take on the lion’s share of the defensive responsibility, Okugo shifted to a hybrid role and found himself pushing forward as the Union’s attack continued to gain momentum, even with the man disadvantage.   First, he trailed the attack in the 70th minute when a failed clearance came to him and he took a strong shot from 25 yards that forced Jon Busch into action.  Then, the payoff came in the 76th minute, when a strong run into the box ended with an attempted cross that struck the hand of Earthquakes defender Jason Hernandez and resulted in the ultimately game-winning penalty kick, converted by Le Toux.  Okugo’s versatility is fast making him invaluable to the Philadelphia side.  It is going to be incredibly difficult to keep him out of the starting XI from this point forward. – Sam Toma, ASN Philly

FWD: Will Bruin (Houston)

Bruin, a rookie, is further cementing the well-known fact that Dominic Kinnear knows how to scout talent. The former


 Hoosier striker connected for his first hat-trick in his professional career (and first hat-trick registered in Major League Soccer this season) as the Dynamo helped DC United continue its descent into the pits of the Eastern Conference. His off the ball movement and strength in the air was further aided by some suspect marking by United’s defense. Regardless, it was a big day for the rookie and one that Houston supporters will hope comes more often.

FWD: Alejandro Moreno (Chivas USA)

Union fans look away. Several games into the season and Moreno already has three goals and two assists. His tireless work ethic and determination fits well with almost any team but it has been sorely needed with a revamped Chivas USA squad now making waves. There’s a winning streak in Los Angeles with this past contest, a 3-0 shellacking of the New England Revolution, and Moreno had a hand in all three goals (one goal, two assists).

FWD: Emilio Renteria (Columbus)

The Crew are without their Designated Player Andres Mendoza but could it be that they gave the wrong player their pay day? Renteria thrived as the lone striker up top for the Crew as provided both tallies in a 2-1 over Vancouver. It seems the Crew are starting to find their identity amidst a six game unbeaten streak and Renteria, with three goals, should continue to be part of the ongoing “discovery process”.

Bench: Keon Daniel (Philadelphia), Tim Ream (New York), Rafa Marquez (New York), Marcos Mondaini (Chivas USA), Heath Pearce (Chivas USA), Kenny Cooper (Portland), Marco Pappa (Chicago), Jimmy Nielsen (Kansas City), Fabian Castillo (FC Dallas), Geoff Cameron (Houston), Corey Ashe (Houston)


MLS Best XI, Week 6

MLS Best XI, Week 5

MLS Best XI, Week 4

MLS Best XI, Week 3

MLS Best XI, Week 2

MLS Best XI, Week 1

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ASN’s MLS Best XI, Week 4: Watch out, 2010 Ferreira is back!

Posted on 12 April 2011 by Breton Bonnette

Dimunitive attackers had their way in Week 4. FC Dallas’ David Ferreira, Philadelphia’s Roger Torres, and Houston’s Danny Cruz and Brad Davis (okay, to call Davis diminutive might be a bit of a stretch) all had significant impact on their respective matches this past weekend. Salt Lake displayed their depth, landing a “reserve” on the Best XI after a sound 2-0 defeat of New England. The Union, meanwhile, posted a third 1-0 shutout for the season. This one over the New York Red Bulls and an increasingly familiar figure was a big part of shutting down an attack that boasts Henry, Agudelo, and the speedy Dane Richards. 

ASN’s MLS Best XI, Week 4

GK: Kasey Keller (Seattle)

The old man has still got it in him there’s no disputing that. Thankfully, for Sounders fans, Zakuani and Rosales have spearheaded a reawakening for Seattle’s offense but it was Keller’s performance that secured the win vs. Chicago. The veteran had clutch saves on a particularly active and impressive Chicago offense.

DEF: Carlos Valdes (Philadelphia)

The gatekeeper to the penalty area was stingy with entry against New York, as Valdes played ballhawk in the Union’s final third, refusing to let anything get over his head.  Further, when tested directly, Carlos dispossessed his man straight up several times.  Some may say that Thierry Henry had a down game, but that is downplaying the job Carlos did to make that the case. Valdes was the most important factor in ensuring that the Union’s goal remained untouched for a 3rd time in 4 games. – Sam Toma, ASN Philly

It’s Valdes’ second time making ASN’s Best XI, to go with one Bench appearance.

DEF: Chad Marshall (Columbus)

The Crew have now posted three consecutive shutouts. Unfortunately, for Marshall – the leader of the Columbus defense – the offense is having trouble with consistency. Marshall, in his second consecutive Best XI, kept the Goats silent and organized and kept a defense, that started 2011 on the wrong foot, composed and impenetrable.

DEF: Brek Shea (FC Dallas)

Could the Shea experiment at centerback be over now? Schellas Hyndman moved Brek Shea out to left back in their 3-0 win over Colorado and a lot of good things happened. Sound defensively, Shea also made dangerous overlapping runs that kept Colorado guessing and allowed David Ferreira and Fabian Castillo to roam free. A left flank of Shea and Castillo – even though it’s still early in the season – could be one of the best in league.

MID: Collen Warner (Real Salt Lake)

Real Salt Lake has its’ sights set on winning the CONCACAF Champions League so a team made up mostly of reserves trotted out to take on undefeated New England side at Foxboro. Led by Warner, Salt Lake showed it had depth, handily dispatching Shalrie Joseph and friends 2-0 and giving guys like Morales, Rimando, and Olave some much needed rest. Warner played the architect in the win, assisting on both goals.

MID: Brad Davis (Houston)

The Dynamo grabbed their first three points of the season, blitzing a Vancouver team that were missing key pieces and coming off a midweek game. Davis, providing the service on all three Houston goals, made sure . The traffic flowed through the veteran playmaker and Davis distributed well. Davis wasn’t alone, though, getting help from Danny Cruz on the wings.

MID: Roger Torres (Philadelphia

Came on for Carlos Ruiz in the 67th minute.  Waited all of 30 seconds to change the game (we were actually able to time it at 13 seconds from the time the restart occurred to the time the ball hit the back of the net), barely staying onside on a breakaway with Danny Mwanga off of a turnover, receiving the ball and calmly putting it past Bouna Coundoul into the bottom right hand corner of the goal.  For the rest of his time on the pitch, Torres was an unquestionably positive influence on the match for the Union.  Torres got into space, kept possession and switched fields effectively, all of which wasted precious seconds and served to prevent the Red Bulls from ever mounting a serious challenge to the Philadelphia goal in the waning moments.  Most importantly, he turned the atmosphere from a healthy buzz to simply electric, whipping the supporters into a frenzy with his goal and then keeping them on the edge of their seats every time he touched the ball.  Easily the performance of the year thus far for young Torres.Sam Toma, ASN Philly

MID: Danny Cruz (Houston)

At times it seemed like Vancouver had forgotten Cruz was even on the pitch. The speedster had his way up and down the flanks and if his finishing was any better, he could have thrilled Robertson Stadium even more with multiple tallies. Instead, a great performance from a young player who the Dynamo expect a lot out of this season and in the future.

MID: Steve Zakuani (Seattle)

His gamewinner alone should earn him a spot on the Best XI. The “easy pass” doesn’t come so easy to Zakuani but when given the chance, he has the ability to take over a game. It was White and the former Zip that linked up to get the go-ahead goal and eventual gamewinner in the 25th minute vs. Chicago. He terrorized the Fire defense and had the presence of mind to sense Fire goalkeeper Sean Johnson leaving the near post open instead of playing the easy (and probably smart) ball at the penalty spot.

FWD: David Ferreira (FC Dallas) *ASN’s PLAYER OF THE WEEK*

Sure, Ferreira probably would rather drop two goals in last year’s MLS Cup final to lead FC Dallas to victory but  – seeing as that didn’t happen – why not settle for a rematch at the outset of the 2011 season? The diminutive attacker was omnipotent in a 3-0 drubbing of defending champs Colorado, scoring twice and earning Major League Soccer’s Player of the Week award (as well as ours!). Even if he only managed one goal, his goal celebration should have landed him on the Best XI as well. Ferreira pulled a pacifier out of his shorts

FWD: O’Brian White (Seattle)

Just when you think Sigi Schmid may opt to start someone else at striker, White starts showing why he was there in the first place. The UConn product powered home a beautiful header to start the scoring in the 7th minute before the Fire’s Diego Chaves equalized no more than a minute later. Not content to give up the win at home, White supplied Zakuani with the distribution that led to the gamewinner.

Bench: Teemu Tainio (RBNY), Daniel Hernandez (FC Dallas), Bobby Boswell (Houston), Stefan Frei (Toronto FC), Fabian Castillo (FC Dallas), David Beckham (Los Angeles), Chris Korb (DC United), Diego Chaves (Chicago), Chris Schuler (Salt Lake), Davide Chiumiento (Vancouver)


MLS Best XI, Week 3

MLS Best XI, Week 2

MLS Best XI, Week 1

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