Much of the talk about the Houston Dynamo in recent weeks has been about the high-profile signings of DaMarcus Beasley and Luis Garrido, but the most important addition for Houston might have simply been the return of one of their own.
With Brad Davis back in the fold following his run with the United States Men's National Team at the 2014 FIFA World Cup, the Dynamo is simply a different team and the numbers support that -- staggeringly.
The left winger has missed time in two separate stints this season: through injury in April and then through the FIFA World Cup in May/June. The splits with and without the set-piece maestro are overwhelming.
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You might be thinking it's a typo, but it's true: Houston has just one goal in nine matches without Davis. With him, the club averages 1.71 per match. Beasley and Garrido were important signings, but the statistics are too severe to ignore: Davis is the engine behind Houston's attack.
The splits aren't only evident in goals, either. You can see that Houston generates about four more shots per match with Davis on the pitch, with slightly more of those shots hitting the target as well.
What about the most important number of all? With Davis, Houston is 6-5-3. Without him, the club is 1-6-1.
Davis has four goals and six assists in 14 matches, meaning that he has only directly factored in on 10 of the 24 goals scored in contests he's played (42%), but his influence alone seems to be a gigantic factor in the Dynamo's ability to put the ball in the back of the net. Clearly, the Crew needs to watch him carefully on Saturday.