Alex Muyl bagged a brace as a substitute while Daniel Royer played a direct role in 3/4 goals, so a man of the match award is a toss up between the two. Yet in the center of midfield, Sean Davis’ confidence on the ball helped the Red Bulls advance the game forward fostering the 4-1 comeback win.
It’s the kind of performance that has defined the talisman’s career in many ways. Even with that said, it wasn’t the typical defensive stalwart performance many are accustomed to seeing. Instead, Davis ventured higher up the field and popped up frequently in the final third. Davis assisted Bradley Wright-Phillips on the third goal of the game, rewarding his aggressive play.
Framing the 18-yard box
After a lackluster first half, Chris Armas changed the team’s shape, “we adjusted a little bit how we press, we did it a little bit differently because they were exposing us on the flank, so we flattened out a little bit with Alex and Danny”.
Vincent Bezecourt’s positioning off the ball changed as well. The Frenchman said, “the change was for me to step to the center backs and put more pressure higher so one of the two #6’s press higher than the other #6”.
By doing that, less defensive responsibility fell on Davis’ shoulders as he finished with 2 key passes, an assist, completing 14/17 passes in the final third.
Sean Davis credits head coach Chris Armas for giving him the freedom to play higher up the field, “I think one of the great things about working with Chris is that he played at such a high level in my position and he really understands my strengths and weaknesses and my capabilities. He always encourages me to get forward and so that’s something we always talk about framing the box.”
A performance like today comes of no surprise to Chris Armas, “Sean Davis was the man of preseason for us. His leadership, his quality, his understanding of how we play, what you see out of him these days more is getting more out of his teammates around him.”
Key to Davis’ success on the day was his midfield partner’s emphatic defensive outing. Chris Armas went as far to say, “I thought we saw the best version of Marc Rzatkowski today…you can see how aggressive he is stepping to plays and he was a big, big piece today”.