Brad Davis injury could leave Houston Dynamo vulnerable

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We keep talking about “margin for error” in MLS and how far it gets reduced at this time of year, a.k.a. “squeaky bum time.”

Little match-day mistakes become significant point-shifters. Managing decisions that go wrong can cost a playoff spot.

And injuries that would cause low-level alarm in spring or summer become full-fledged fall nail-biters – all because of a drastically reduced margin for error.

With that, let’s talk about an injury that has left Houston midfielder and dead ball specialist Brad Davis questionable for Saturday’s home game against Montreal.

Davis suffered a calf sprain in practice Tuesday. He missed Wednesday’s workout, leaving manager Dominic Kinnear hopeful but unsure, awaiting Thursday’s practice to get a better picture of the situation.

As the Houston Chronicle’s Jose de Jesus Ortiz points out in the piece linked above, Kinnear has ample midfield options. But – and this is one of them very big “buts” – none of them are close to Davis in terms of impact and production.

The Dynamo lefty has scored or assisted on 19 of 44 goals for the Orange this year. That’s 43 percent, and his ability to contribute regularly at such a prodigious rate has been impressive through the years.

In the four seasons since 2008, he’s been right about there the entire way. In fact, Davis has either scored or assisted on 73 of 168 Dynamo goals. That equals … yep … 43 percent.

Soccer world reacts to the Manchester attacks

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NBC News is reporting that at least 19 people have been killed and another 50 are injured following a possible suicide bombing at an Ariana Grande concert in Manchester.

Multiple senior U.S. intelligence officials who are monitoring British authorities told NBC News that preliminary reports indicate that a single explosion took place outside the arena on the southwest side opposite the train station. The explosion occurred as the concert ended, catching people as they exited.

Soccer personalities around the world are reacting to the horrible event.

Juventus purchases Cuadrado from Chelsea

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If you didn’t realize Juan Cuadrado still belonged to Chelsea, you’re forgiven.

The Colombian attacker will complete his second season at Juventus after the UEFA Champions League Final against Real Madrid, and won’t be headed back to Chelsea afterwards.

Juve has purchased Cuadrado, and the fee is $22 million, and Juve will pay it over three seasons. Cuadrado, 28, is now signed through 2020 with The Old Lady.

Cuadrado first went on loan to Juve in Aug. 2015, and has eight goals and 18 assists in 83 career appearances with the club.

Chelsea bought Cuadrado from Fiorentina for around $32 million in the January 2015 transfer window, but made just 14 appearances with the club.

Report: Jermain Defoe meeting with Bournemouth

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Sky Sports is reporting that Jermain Defoe may head back to the south of England following Sunderland’s relegation.

Defoe, 34, spent two seasons with Portsmouth between 2008-09, scoring 15 goals in 31 appearances.

[ MORE: ‘The Moment’ of each PL club’s season ]

The 56-times capped England striker had a clause in his Sunderland contract allowing him to leave the Stadium of Light were the Black Cats to be relegated, as they were this season. He’d have little interest in dropping into the Championship given his desire to stay a part of the England squad ahead of the 2018 World Cup.

Bournemouth’s strike corps includes Joshua King, who scored the most goals of any player not on a Top Seven side this season. King’s 16 goals were one more than Defoe’s 15, though the latter scored just one goal following a brace against Crystal Palace on Feb. 4.

Chelsea’s Conte wins pair of top managerial honors

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Antonio Conte took league and national honors from the League Managers Association on Monday night.

The Chelsea boss was named Premier League Manager of the Year and Manager of the Year after leading the Blues to the PL title and an FA Cup Final in his first year on the job.

Brighton and Hove Albion boss Chris Hughton nabbed another Championship boss of the year award after leading the Gulls to the Premier League. He also won the honor with Newcastle United in 2010.

The League One winner is Chris Wilder of Sheffield United. Wilder won the honor with Northampton Town last season.

In League Two, Paul Cook of Portsmouth was named the winner.