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Three observations from Alphonso Davies vs Juventus in MLS All Star Game

Davies showed some of his potential against one of the best European teams, but he also showed there’s room for improvement.

MLS: MLS All-Star Game John David Mercer-USA TODAY Sports

In front of 72,317 people at the Mercedes-Benz Stadium, Juventus beat the MLS All Stars 5-3 on penalties following a 1-1 draw in regulation. Andrea Favilli — he of two goals against Bayern Munich last week — scored for Juventus, while Atlanta United’s Josef Martinez scored the goal for the MLS All Stars.

However, everyone is here to find out how Bayern’s newest signing Alphonso Davies did against Juventus?

Davies came on as a substitute in the 32nd minute and was subbed out in the 63rd minute. The MLS All Star coach and current Atlanta coach Tata Martino played Davies at left back. While the position is not currently Davies’ best, he has played there in the past for the Vancouver Whitecaps. There’s been speculation that his future could be as a left back, but his defense isn’t up to the level of 90 minutes at the position at this time.

These matches are always hard to gauge the play of individual MLS players since the All Star Game format doesn’t allow any time to really gel with their teammates for the match against their opponent. However, there are three moments from Davies’ night that I want to touch on here.

He ran down and stripped João Cancelo.

As Davies was tucked in toward the center of the park, a quick switch saw João Cancelo running toward the penalty area without a defender in sight, because the left midfielder had not tracked back. Davies turned and, at a full sprint, ran down Cancelo. With Davies in front of him, Cancelo hesitated, and Davies was able to poke the ball away and take possession.

Watching Davies run down, stand up, and strip the ball from a €40 million player like Cancelo was impressive. The way he glides across the field with and without the ball is hard to duplicate.

His speed left Alex Sandro eating dust.

Michael Amir Murillo poked the ball away to disrupt a Juventus attack in the MLS All Star’s penalty box, and Alphonso Davies picked up the ball. Before you could blink, he was fifteen yards up the field with the ball at his feet in a full sprint with Alex Sandro level with him. Ten yards later, Sandro was falling behind. When they reached midfield, Sandro reached out in desperation to foul Davies to stop him from running free at the back-peddling Juventus centerbacks.

Davies’ speed is impossible to teach, and as he grows more confident in his capabilities with the ball at his feet in tight spaces, his ability to navigate through defenses as well as past them will be a boon for Bayern going forward.

He fell for a big fake by Leandro Fernandes

However, there was his big moment of naivete as a left back. Juventus U-19 player Leandro Fernandes spun Davies like a top with a big fake and a hard cut letting the Dutch midfielder attempt a cross into the box. While even the best players fall for fakes from time to time, it’s something that Davies will want to work on not falling for in the future.

Overall, it was a successful half hour against one of the world’s best clubs for the 17 year old. While he showed glimpses of his sky high potential, there were also moments where Davies showed that he is indeed a 17 year old kid with room for improvement.

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