Brad Davis

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Brad Davis announces retirement at the end of the MLS season

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The 15-year career of Brad Davis will come to an end at the end of the MLS season, Sporting Kansas City announced Sunday.

The 34-year-old has spent his entire career domestically, currently with Sporting KC for a season after spending ten years with the Houston Dynamo where he won two MLS Cups in 2006 and 2007. The club made it to the final again in 2011, but Davis missed it with an injury and the team fell to Los Angeles.

Davis also collected 17 caps with the U.S. National Team. He debuted in 2005 in a Gold Cup win over Cuba, but was a late bloomer with the national team, making 12 of his 17 appearances from 2013 or later. He earned his final cap for the Stars & Stripes in the 1-0 loss to Germany in the 2014 World Cup.

“I can’t believe that the last 15 years have gone by so fast and that this journey has come to an end,” Davis told the official Sporting KC website. “Along the way, I have met a lot of great people and have had the privilege to play alongside many great players. There are so many individuals that I look forward to thanking who have made me the person and the player I have become.”

The announcement came just hours before Sporting KC finishes its regular season against San Jose in front of the home fans at Sporting Park. With Kansas City teetering on the edge of the playoff picture, it’s likely they wanted to allow Davis the opportunity foir a sendoff should they fall short of extending the season.

Sporting sits in the final playoff spot on 44 points, level on points with Portland but above on goal difference by a single goal. The Timbers finish their regular season on the road at 9th-placed Vancouver.

MLS Snapshot: Sporting KC 1-1 LA Galaxy (video)

AP Photo/Orlin Wagner
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The game in 100 words (or less): In theory, playing with a man advantage is supposed to provide just that — an advantage. In practice, it’s been a largely fruitless exercise for Sporting Kansas City in 2016. Following Sunday’s 1-1 draw with the LA Galaxy, Sporting KC have played 153 minutes with a man advantage (four red cards shown to opponents on the season), and scored all of one goal on the season, all the way back on the opening day of the season. Ashley Cole was the latest to see red against Sporting (video below – if you’re anything other than a Chelsea fan, you’ll enjoy this one), and once again Peter Vermes’ side failed to hit pay dirt in the game’s final 20 minutes. The draw sees the two sides pick up a point each, with the Galaxy climbing one spot in the Western Conference standings, up to fourth, while Sporting hold steady in sixth.

[ MORE: Monday’s MLS Rewind column  ]

Three moments that mattered

30′ — Davis curls a left-footed beauty for 1-0 — Attention, defenders of MLS; Brad Davis’s left foot — it’s still good.

42′ — Dos Santos finishes off a devastating counter — In the blink of an eye, from one end of the field to the other, and the Galaxy were back on level terms through Giovani dos Santos. Cheeky, cheeky.

70′ — Cole sees two yellows in the span of 13 seconds — Cole has mostly flown under the radar while in MLS. That is no longer the case.

[ FOLLOW: All of PST’s MLS coverageStandings | Stats | Schedule ]

Man of the match: Roger Espinoza

Goalscorers: Davis (30′), Dos Santos (42′)

MLS Snapshot: Sporting Kansas City 1-0 Toronto FC (video)

Photo credit: Sporting Kansas City / John Rieger-USA TODAY Sports
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The game in 100 words (or less): As recently as four months ago, you could name no MLS player more fiercely hated in Kansas City than Brad Davis. It’s funny how an offseason trade — and a game-winning goal — can change opinions and endear someone so quickly. That’s the story from Sunday night’s 1-0 victory over Toronto FC at Children’s Mercy Park, as Davis, after 10 seasons with the Houston Dynamo where he tormented the Kansas City faithful numerous times in the MLS Cup Playoffs (and plenty in the regular season, too), assumed the role of instigator, agitator and goal-scoring hero. Within five minutes of coming on at halftime, Davis sparked a painfully dull game to life with mass confrontation after refusing to put the ball out of play with a TFC player on the ground injured. From four total shots taken in the first half (two on target), Davis’ introduction certainly added something to the proceedings and proved the deciding factor. With the victory, Sporting are the only 3-0-0 side to begin the 2016 MLS season.

[ MORE: Saturday night’s MLS roundup ]

Three moments that mattered

62′ — Melia tips Endoh’s breakaway onto the crossbar — Giovinco played Tsubasa Endoh in behind the Sporting backline, putting the rookie striker one on one with Tim Melia, but the Sporting ‘keeper got just enough arm on the ball to tip it onto the crossbar and keep the clean sheet intact.

66′ — Giovinco dances past three in the box, goes just high/wide — Soni Mustivar, Nuno Andre Coelho and Roger Espinoza were all vaguely in the vicinity of Giovinco, but it mattered little as the Atomic Ant skated past all three and eventually lifted a last-ditch effort just high and wide of the far post.

70′ — Davis wins a tackle in the box, dances in on goal, makes it 1-0 — From Kansas City’s arch nemesis, to the hero of the day … Brad Davis, ladies and gentlemen.

[ FOLLOW: All of PST’s MLS coverageStandings | Stats | Schedule ]

Man of the match: Brad Davis

Goalscorers: Davis (70′)

MLS Snapshot: Sporting Kansas City 1-1 Houston Dynamo (video)

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The game in 100 words (or less): While the rest of Major League Soccer went goal-crazy on Saturday night, Sporting Kansas City and the Houston Dynamo were busy doing what they do when facing one another: beating the crap out of each other in a game that finished a 1-1 draw at Sporting Park. 32 fouls were committed in the game, while just 13 shots were taken (8 on target). Sporting took a very early lead — a common thing around MLS Saturday night — but made the unforgivable mistake when facing the Dynamo: they gave Brad Davis a set piece. Sporting KC were denied a blatant penalty kick when the ball appeared to hit the hand of Luis Garrido in the 94th minute. Sporting remain fourth in the Western Conference with the Seattle Sounders, currently two points back in fifth, playing later Saturday night. The Dynamo are four points out of the sixth and final playoff place in the West.

[ MORE: DCU 6-4 RSL | OCSC 5-2 CLBNYCFC 2-3 MTLDrogba arrives | Johannsson to MLS? ]

The moments that mattered

6′ — Dwyer heads home Feilbaber’s free kick — The set-piece delivery from Benny Feilhaber was, as is now expected, on point. Dom Dwyer’s job was simple: put your head on the ball and redirect it past Tyler Deric from seven yards out. Mission accomplished, and a 1-0 lead for Sporting.

11′ — Melia out to clean up his defense’s mess — Somehow Will Bruin came to be all by himself behind the Sporting backline. If not for Tim Melia’s quick rushing out and strong hands to push the ball out of Bruin’s path, the score would have been 1-1.

78′ — Clark heads home Davis’ free kick for the equalizer — Don’t give the Dynamo set pieces. Don’t give the Dynamo set pieces. Don’t give the Dynamo set pieces. Opposing teams who give the Dynamo set pieces should be made to write that on a chalkboard 1,000 after every game.

[ FOLLOW: All of PST’s MLS coverageStandings | Stats | Schedule ]

LINEUPS

Sporting Kansas City: Melia, Dia, Besler, Ellis, Myers (Abdul-Salaam 79′), Mustivar, Espinoza (Nagamura 90′), Feilhaber, Nemeth, Dwyer, Zusi (Peterson 90+4′)

Goals: Dwyer (6′)

Houston Dynamo: Deric, Beasley, Rodriguez, Horst, Williams, Davis, Alex (Miranda 68′), Sturgis, Barnes, Clark (Garrido 80′), Bruin (Torres 62′)

Goals: Clark (78′)

MLS Team of the Week — Stars of Week 21

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Wooooo! The past weekend of Major League Soccer action was, in a word, “Wooooo!” Nine games played, 39 goals scored (4.3 per game).

[ FOLLOW: All of PST’s Week 21 MLS coverage | Standings | Stats | Schedule ]

This week’s MLS Team of the Week accounted for 12 of the 39 (less than one-third, but we only have 11 places and one is a goalkeeper!). Orlando City SC rookie Cyle Larin bagged his first career hat trick against New York City FC on Sunday, a game in which a World Cup and UEFA Champions League winner, David Villa, scored just a brace.

[ RELATED: Week 21 Player of the Week — Who from the 11 below takes the honor? ]

Elsewhere, Sebastian Giovinco did more Giovinco things, while Brad Davis, Raul Rodriguez and the rest of the Houston Dynamo were busy shutting down and shutting out the defending champion LA Galaxy. And Ethan Finlay continued his “Jurgen, Are You Even Watching?” campaign with another goal and assist (seven and 12 on the season) vs. Toronto FC.

Thoughts? Questions? Agreements? Disagreements? (Of course not.) Leave them in the comments section, as always. I’m not afraid to defend my picks.

[ MORE: 2015 MLS Team of the Week archive | Week 17 Player of the Week ]

MLS Team of the Week — Week 21

Goalkeeper: Jeff Attinella (Real Salt Lake)

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Defenders: Laurent Ciman (Montreal Impact), Raul Rodriguez (Houston Dynamo), Kendall Waston (Vancouver Whitecaps)

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Midfielders: Sebastian Giovinco (Toronto FC), Ethan Finlay (Columbus Crew SC), Brad Davis (Houston Dynamo) Michael Barrios (FC Dallas), Kellyn Acosta (FC Dallas)

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Forwards: Cyle Larin (Orlando City SC, David Villa (New York City FC)

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