FRISCO, Texas — It all happened in a flash. Kyle Davies’ 2010 season went from the exhilaration of being in FC Dallas’ first 11 for the March 27 season opener against the Houston Dynamo to the frustration and disappointment of having to leave the game in the second half with a broken arm.
Davies’ recovery took several months, but then a hamstring injury suffered in the same week as an August 5 friendly against Inter Milan kept the 21-year-old defender relegated to the bench. It was another big blow.
But in Saturday night's 0-0 draw away to San Jose, Davies finally got back on the field with the first team. Davies replaced center back Jackson in the 69th minute after the Brazilian came off with what was later called a muscle contusion in his leg.
“It’s nice to be on the field again,” Davies admitted. “It’s been a long time with a lot of hard work and a lot of recovery. I was only in there for 20 minutes but I thought [center back Zach Loyd and I] did well. Earlier in the year, Zach and I would be on the same team and working together a lot. So, we had a little bit of that chemistry already.”
The experience of returning to action was made even sweeter for Davies, a native of Oakland. The match in San Jose was a homecoming of sorts, and he had many family and friends attending the game.
“It’s been a real difficult, frustrating year for Kyle," head coach Schellas Hyndman said. "He got his arm broken and then he’s worked his way back. He’s not been given the opportunities to really get out there to get his game time, rhythm and confidence back. So, this was an opportunity for him to come out. It’s his home area. There were a lot of friends and family there. I think it was a perfect picture for him to be making the road trip, to also get on the field and to come away with the shutout."
Dallas are currently riding a 14-game unbeaten streak. During that time, Ugo Ihemelu and George John have started most games at center back, but with injuries taking their toll on Hyndman's regular lineup, Davies could be called upon to step in more often going forward.
“He’s somebody that adds a steadying influence when he’s out there because he’s really knowledgeable about what he’s doing," goalkeeper Kevin Hartman said. "He’s great on air balls into the box or on long clearances. He’s also somebody that keeps the ball at his feet.”
Whether or not Davies gets the start on Thursday remains to be determined by the coaching staff. Either way, he is simply excited to be part of the conversation again.
“It has [been frustrating not to play], but the team is doing well and you’ve got players who are performing," Davies said. "All you can do is work hard and be ready for when and if you get a chance. To be honest, with the team performing the way they are, I didn’t expect to get back in. So I was working just to be ready.”