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Talking about Brad Davis red card for the Dynamo

Apr 29, 2013, 6:28 PM EDT

Brad Davis

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.

  1. term3186 - Apr 29, 2013 at 8:50 PM

    Eh. The straight red was harsh, but you can’t really complain about a yellow for that challenge….. which would’ve been his second of the match. As for the dissent…….. Any match where a referee needs to issue 3 cards for dissent (2 for one team, and 1 for the other), he’s probably not having a good day.

  2. donjuego - Apr 30, 2013 at 7:51 AM

    Midway through the 2nd half the foul count was running three fouls called against the Dynamo, and 14 against the Rapids. The game ended at 7 and 16.

    The Dynamo were very frustrated with Colorado’s persistent hacking in midfield that the referee never dealt with.

  3. chadmoon1 - Apr 30, 2013 at 11:48 AM

    Just went and watched the highlights, and Brad cannot have complaints about the red. Lunged with cleats to the back leg of the Colorado player. No he didn’t break his leg, but easily could have.

    For all of you team captains out there, I say go read the Laws of the Game. It tells you that “the Captain, while being responsible for the behavior of his team, has no special priviledges.” Where the idea that Captains get to say whatever they want, however they want, whenever they want, is hogwash.

    • Steve Davis - Apr 30, 2013 at 12:56 PM

      That’s a great point. I say all the time that players fail in many instances to know the laws of the game. That’s just part of being a “pro.”

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