|photo by Matt Kremkau|
New York Red Bulls captain Sean Davis began his tenure with a big win against FC Cincinnati on Sunday and looked to the personalities of the past to shape how he motivates the team. Since joining the team professionally in 2015 he has seen the leadership style of Dax McCarty, Sacha Kljestan and Luis Robles. All of which were different personalities with different leadership styles.
"It's an honor just to be in the same conversation as them," said Davis. "It's definitely a bigger responsibility to follow in their footsteps but each guy brought something different."
Davis' first captain, McCarty, was known as a furious leader who patrolled in front of the defense and let it be known when his players weren't performing well. While on the team he led by example, pushing tired players and never asking the team to do something he wouldn't do himself.
Kljestan was a different personality. A veteran that had European experience, the California-bred player had a chip on his shoulder and played that way. He was quick to defend his team but equally as quick to point out when they weren't playing up to their potential. Under his captaincy the team made their only final in 2017 against Sporting KC. It was a loss that Kljestan never forgot.
"They brought it on the field every single time," said Davis on the two midfield captains. "I learned from their tendancies as players and Luis, his professionalism, on-the-field off-the-field, the way he carried himself with the media, with employees, with every single player was special."
Davis was named captain a few days before the first game but had been rumored to be the selection early in preseason. He has played his entire professional career with New York and was a product of the much lauded 2016 USL championship team that also produced Tyler Adams and Aaron Long.
"There's so much I need to learn still but I have a great support group here. A lot of people believe in me and I'm really lucky to have the teammates I have too."