The Houston Dynamo’s most important man will miss one of the club’s most important regular season games this year – and we can have a good conversation about whether or not Brad Davis should need to sit out this week’s visit to the Home Depot Center to face the two-time defending MLS champs.
Davis was thrown out in the waning seconds of his team’s 1-1 draw Sunday with Colorado.
Referee Juan Guzman adjudged that the Dynamo captain’s tackle on Nathan Sturgis warranted red. Maybe, maybe not. It certainly looked like a fairly dangerous lunge, but Guzman was close enough that he could have seen there was only marginal contact.
It sounds and looks like there was a bit of “had enough of him” at work. Davis was agitated and animated in previous conversations Sunday with Guzman. Even he admitted it, complaining about the lack of consistency from the man in the middle.
Davis collected a yellow card just minutes before the red card – which didn’t really affect Sunday’s match (because it was in the 95th minute) but certainly will hurt his team’s chances against a Galaxy team suddenly playing with a bunch of confidence.
Oh … it’s an MLS Cup rematch, too.
What Davis said:
After I just got that yellow card, I just lost my head a little bit. I don’t think it was a straight red, but I think he was looking after our little scuffle we had. I actually talked to the ref at halftime and asked him to be more consistent. There was a lot of inconsistency, so finally I kind of lost it.
“Honestly, I don’t know what he gave me the first one for. If he writes dissent, that wasn’t dissent. I never cursed, I never did anything. I was just quite agitated that there wasn’t a foul called before. But I’ve got to keep my head and I didn’t.
“To be honest, the captain and the ref have got to able to have a conversation and talk. You’ve got to have a little bit of leeway. In that situation, I don’t think he gave me any.”
And here’s where we can have a discussion: a captain should be allowed to speak to the referee. But there is a fine, fine line, and even the captain cannot exploit the leeway.
The ability to have a conversation, to make a case and advocate for your teammates, does not stretch into the realm of screaming, name-calling or generally acting out in disrespectful ways. Not saying that Davis did any of that … just noting that it is a fine line.
Conversations should be that; anything past it, and the referee is liable to say at some point, “I’ve had enough.”
Besides all that, Davis did look frustrated by it all. And frustration leads players to act impulsively or with extra aggression. And that will get you a seat on the sidelines for meaningful matches if you aren’t careful.