Adam Taylor, Black and Red United) So here's the thing about Charlie Davies: he succeeds. He's the living embodiment of the adage that whatever doesn't kill you makes you stronger. Horrifying car crash? Twin sons born three months premature? Fucking cancer? He just keeps coming back and succeeding.
Chuck D had already won a place among my favorite USMNT players during qualifying for the 2010 World Cup. His anticipation, speed and finishing, as well as his understanding with Jozy Altidore and Landon Donovan, bordered on game-breaking for the US. His goal at Estadio Azteca hinted at what could be in store for him and the US going forward.
And then the crash, on a parkway I drive somewhat regularly just across the Potomac River from DC. The tribute by the fans at RFK. Jonathan Bornstein's goal to win the Hex. My good friend crying because that goal secured Honduras' first berth in the World Cup in his lifetime.
But my thoughts kept returning to Davies.
So you can imagine the excitement when he signed for D.C. United on loan before the 2011 season. And when he scored two goals against Columbus in his debut at RFK Stadium.
He'd score 11 goals in Black-and-Red before his loan ended at the end of that year, soured a bit by runs of bad form and a tactical change that shifted the focus of the attack from Davies to that year's MLS MVP, Dwayne De Rosario.
Like a lot of United fans, though, I never stopped rooting for Davies. I was thrilled to see him succeeding for his hometown New England Revolution, and I'm sure he'll do the same with your Union. Without the same pace he had before the car crash, he's become a smarter player, more willing to use his strength and more reliant on his reading of the game, an attribute that doesn't decline with age. And he's remade himself to the point that some generally smart commentators have been shouting for Jurgen Klinsmann to return the 30-year-old to the national team.
As long as he's not playing United (which is to say, starting after this weekend) I'll keep rooting for Charlie every step of the way.
Seth Macomber, The Bent Musket) When Charlie Davies takes the field for the Union, don’t expect the same player that scored against Egypt in the 2009 Confederations Cup or Mexico in 2010 World Cup Qualifying. The 30-year-old has evolved since the car crash that nearly took his life. That said, he still has a nose for the goal.
Every time Davies sees the field, he wants to score. During his last outing with the Revolution, the striker only played 15 minutes, but offered three shots on target, any of which could have gone in if not for Joe Bendik.
Although it was his first night back since beating cancer, Davies expressed frustration about not finding the back of the net, which is proof that he’s a natural goalscorer.
As stated before, Davies is a different player now than he was at the beginning of his career. He relies less on pace and more on determination. Davies will fight for every ball, leaving everything on the field. He’s also shown a desire to get better every day. He’s not naturally a hold-up forward, but he’s developed as such while with the Revolution. He’s also improved in terms of scoring headers.
Davies is a good get for the Union, both on and off the field. He’s got a great personality that fans will gravitate towards while the media are sure to like his post-game interviews. His story has been told countless times, but Davies will be the first to tell you that he’s got plenty more chapters to write.