Join Now | 
HomeAboutContact UsPrivacy & SecurityAdvertise
Soccer America DailySpecial EditionAround The NetSoccer Business InsiderCollege Soccer ReporterYouth Soccer ReporterSoccer on TVSoccer America Classifieds
Paul Gardner: SoccerTalkSoccer America ConfidentialYouth Soccer InsiderWorld Cup Watch
RSS FeedsArchivesManage SubscriptionsSubscribe
Order Current IssueSubscribeManage My SubscriptionRenew My SubscriptionGift Subscription
My AccountJoin Now
Tournament CalendarCamps & AcademiesSoccer GlossaryClassifieds
For Charlie Davies, D.C. is the place to be
by Ridge Mahoney, February 2nd, 2011 1:35PM

MOST READ
TAGS:  d.c. united, mls

MOST COMMENTED

By Ridge Mahoney

In a week or so, we'll know if D.C. United’s coaching staff and management believes a year-long loan for Charlie Davies makes sense.

More than a few major names have been attached, justifiably or otherwise, to MLS during the past month or so. If one-third of the players (and their agents) who have mentioned the league as a possible destination actually came here, every game would be an All-Star Game.

The two Robbies, Keane and Savage, didn’t wind up in Vancouver to the greatsurprise of very few, since Savage is a master at manipulating the media and Keane cost a fee of 1 million pounds ($1.6 million) and weekly wages of 65,000 pounds ($103,000) just to go from Tottenham to West Ham in an all-London loan deal.

But an MLS loan for Davies could be ideal, if more than a bit ironic, since he passed up an MLS contract worth about $1 million over five seasons to start his pro career in Sweden with Hammarby. His move to French club Sochaux in the summer of 2009 marked a significant step up in class, but after scoring two goals in his first eight games a car crash in Arlington, Va., while on U.S. national team duty threw his career and his future into doubt.

A lacerated bladder, a fractured right tibia and femur, a fractured elbow, facial injuries, and bleeding on the brain required months of surgeries and
rehabilitation. His zealous, desperate attempt to get fit in time for the 2010 World Cup fell well short of that ambitious goal, and in the ensuing months with Sochaux he’s played in reserve games but not for the first team.

The club has been very careful with Davies and certainly more patient than he is; one of the many issues facing D.C. United and Coach Ben Olsen if Davies signs will be to handle him wisely.

There were a lot of D.C. fans in attendance, as was I, at RFK on Oct. 15, 2009 when the U.S. played Costa Rica a day and a half after he’d been rushed to a hospital in an ambulance. In the ninth minute, fans stood and chanted his name while waving thousands of signs and placards displaying his No. 9. Assigned that number for the match, Robbie Rogers came off the bench to set up a goal that cut Costa Rica’s lead in half, and in the 95th minute Jonathan Bornstein’s header drilled his corner kick home for the equalizer in a 2-2 tie.

Along with elation and joy at securing the tie that clinched top spot in the Hexagonal, concern for Davies etched the face of every U.S. player and coach during the postgame interviews. In the long months since that memorable night, the injuries have healed though there are scars, physical and psychological, which will never fade entirely.

Resuming his pro career would greatly aid the healing process but the odds of doing that are still unknown, and his eagerness to get back into action has already boiled over several times.

Any team wants and needs players who want and need to be on the field, and so for United the monitoring of Davies’ mindset and psyche will be just as vital as his physical health. In his playing days Olsen missed the entire 2001 season through injury, and D.C. has been staunch in its support of Santino Quaranta, who fights the dark demons of substance addiction every waking hour.

As much as those fans who were on hand at RFK and have watched him in the U.S. jersey want him to play, miracles can’t be expected. This may take a long time.

United must also use its spot atop the allocation list to claim him and that’s a valuable chip to play for a team recovering from an embarrassing 2010 season. Romanticism aside, this is a gamble. Still, for him, at this point in his career, D.C. is the place to be. Cross your fingers.



0 comments
  1. Chris Sapien
    commented on: February 2, 2011 at 3:32 p.m.
    All compassion aside, if it was my business/team, I wouldn't chance it. He's young enough to reach his original potential, but the cost is too high without more guarantee. Good Luck Charlie......we'll all be watching whatever happens...

  1. David Sirias
    commented on: February 2, 2011 at 3:33 p.m.
    DCU is seems like an ideal place for CD. The coach is particulalry suited for bringing CD. The issue will be one of expectations. If both coach and player can agree to slowly easing him into fitness, and then form, with some agreed expectation of the contributions he can realitically make, then yes--go for it. Better this happen in DC than elsewhere in Europe where the pressures are enormous. As long as DCU undertands that CD should not be expected to carry the load as THE #9 MAN, things might turn out very positive for all involved.


Sign in to leave a comment. Don't have an account? Join Now




AUTHORS

ARCHIVES
FOLLOW SOCCERAMERICA

Recent Soccer America Confidential
Revs' locals ready to make history    
The New England Revolution enters MLS Cup with the worst record in league history. It's lost ...
Charlie Davies' comeback reaches a milestone    
On the field, in the locker room, on the podium during a press conference, Charlie Davies ...
Previewing Saturday's Women's World Cup draw     
Students of the World Cup draw know all about the intricacies of the process and history ...
Specter of Alonso looms over Sounders-Galaxy showdown    
The best two MLS teams in the regular season meet to decide which of them will ...
The German connection, college edition    
Just as the U.S. national team has taken on a German influence with a German, Jurgen ...
Cahill in the crosshairs for crucial second leg    
Bradley Wright-Phillips out, Tim Cahill in starts just about every discussion of the Revs-Red Bulls showdown ...
Three takeaways from LA Galaxy-Seattle    
The Western Conference finalists are separated by just one goal heading into the second leg in ...
Three takeaways from New York-New England    
The New England Revolution made it three wins in three playoff games with a 2-1 win ...
My advice to Jurgen Klinsmann    
I'll begin by saying Project Klinsmann is too big to fail, so Jurgen Klinsmann is going ...
Three keys that could decide New England-New York series    
New York hosts the first leg of the Eastern Conference finals against New England Sunday, more ...
>> Soccer America Confidential Archives