Quotes: Brad Davis excited for next chapter of his career at Sporting KC

It’s official: six-time MLS All-Star Brad Davis has joined Sporting Kansas City in a trade with the Houston Dynamo. In a conference call with media members on Thursday, the World Cup veteran expressed his excitement and discussed his goals for 2016 in a conference call with media members. Davis’ remarks can be found below.


On joining Sporting KC after 10 years in Houston…

I see myself fitting in pretty well. I had Dominic Kinnear as a coach for many years and him and Peter (Vermes) come from the same background with playing styles and stuff like that. That’s why (Houston) always had such great games and rivalries against KC — because we had two teams who were bred to compete and fight and do whatever it took to win. That’s what I see in Sporting KC, and I feel that’s the way I’ve been molded over the past 10 years in Houston as well. I see myself fitting in and trying to work hard and earn the respect of my teammates. I’ll do whatever I can to contribute to the team.

On playing for Sporting KC fans after being a longtime adversary in Kansas City…

That part is going to be great. Fans are passionate about it. They love to hate me because we’ve had some great games and I’ve been in the middle of victories for the Dynamo, and we’ve gone back in forth. I think it’s a fantastic fan base in Kansas City, I really do. It’s always really engaging when you go to those games, and the atmosphere has always been great. They’ve already been sending me messages saying “Sorry about the things we said to you in the past.” I’m looking forward to getting into the stadium and trying to contribute. It’ll be fun.

On the competition for midfield spots within the Sporting KC team…

That’ll sort itself out come training camp. Everybody’s going there with the mentality that you have to earn a spot. By no means do I feel like I’m going to be given a spot, and I don’t think anyone should feel like that. You go in with the mindset of working hard and earning your spot within the team, wherever that might be. You want that competition — that breeds success. There are quite a few midfielders on the team right now, but we’ll find a way. It’ll play itself out during preseason and we’ll figure out what’s best for the team moving forward.

On whether the St. Louis native considers his arrival in KC as a homecoming…

(St. Louis) is three hours down the road, so I would say it’s a homecoming. It’ll be nice: a lot of friends and family will be able to come and watch me play. The people who have been supporting me throughout my entire career — now it’s an opportunity for me to get back in front of them and give them a chance to see me play a little bit more, especially my immediate family. They’re the ones who gave me the opportunity to play this game for so long at a young age. Now I’ll be able to give back to them a little bit as well.

On joining an MLS club closer to his family and friends…

That’s something that I thought about when I first came into the league, in all honesty—trying to eventually play in front of my family and friends. It’s something that has been in the back of my mind for a long time, but it wasn’t going to be a decision I made just to come back. I wanted to be able to be with a competitive team. The big thing here is I’m able to come back and play in front of my family, but by no means is this the only reason. Sporting is a great organization. They have a great team and a winning pedigree, and they have great players on the team right now. I’m joining a team that is going to be extremely competitive this year. My family is definitely a part of it, but looking at the team and organization, this puts me in a very good position to be successful as well.

On the fiercely contested matches he played against Sporting KC in the past…

I’m a guy who is just passionate on the field. If you know me off the field, I’m a pretty laid back guy and that stuff doesn’t bother me whatsoever. I just take it as guys competing and wanting to win. It’s just two teams competing and wanting to win and doing whatever it takes in that moment. I might have to walk in the locker room the first day with a set of boxing gear on [laughs], but honestly I’m fine with it. It’s actually good for me because it shows that Sporting KC has guys who are competing and wanting to win, and that’s the kind of team I want to be a part of.

On his relationship with fellow U.S. internationals Matt Besler and Graham Zusi…

It’s been very good. Those guys are great people. They’re great soccer players, but most importantly they’re great people. My family really got to know theirs (during the World Cup) and there was a great relationship there. That has a lot to do with Kansas City being a destination. It’s a group of really good people who get along. It’s a great locker room and it’s great for family life. For those who know me, that’s what I’m all about. I have three kids of my own, so a good family life was important for me. I think this team fits that bill.

On how his move from Houston to Sporting KC transpired…

This is something that I found out was possibly on the table, and I went and sat with the staff and spoke about it. I said if this was a possibility, I’d like to look into it. By no means was it me just trying to get out or anything. It was a good dialogue. It was, “Okay, if this is possible, let’s try and do this. If not, I’ll be in Houston.” I have to say I’m thankful for the Houston staff and everyone involved as we went through this process. They were very understanding. (Houston Dynamo President) Chris Canetti was amazing about that, trying to get guys where they want to go. It’s been something he’s done throughout his tenure as president, so I thank him a lot. But this came up and once it (became a possibility), I asked to look into it.

On Peter Vermes’ message to Davis prior to the trade announcement…

He basically said I was a guy he wanted to bring in because of my competitiveness my willingness to win and my experience that I’ve had in the league. It’s something he wanted to bring in right away. He said, “I don’t want you to come in here and feel like you have to try and ease your way in. I want you to come in and be exactly who you are.” And that’s a guy who’s going to compete and not be afraid to say things that need to be said — and try to help the team win in any way possible. That’s what I’m going to try and do: be me right off the bat and hit the ground running.

On fitting into Sporting KC’s style of play…

Without a doubt, I’ve had a lot of success on set pieces. But all you have to do is look back on the past and see that Sporting scored plenty of goals on set pieces. Games are still won and lost on set pieces. But by no means do I think that’s the only thing to my game. Is that something that I’m known for? Yes, but I can also give service into the box from the run of play. I’ve also played in the middle and scored goals and had plenty of assists from playing a 4-3-3 when I was in Houston. I was actually quite successful in that formation. Whatever Peter sees fit and in whatever capacity, I feel like I’ll be able to create and help and score and assist in different ways than just set pieces. I’ve been able to do that throughout my career, and I don’t see why I won’t be able to do it with this club either.

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