It’s no stretch to say that Revolution general manager Michael Burns knows what to expect from newly acquired forward Charlie Davies.
The 27-year-old Manchester, N.H. native and Boston College alum was acquired on loan in a complex deal involving Randers FC (Denmark) and D.C. United.
“He’s a local product who’s been on our radar since his teenage years,” Burns said Friday via a news release. “So we’re pleased the opportunity arose to bring him to our club.”
Granted, that opportunity may not have presented itself at the crest of Davies’ career. On the contrary: The Revolution are adding a once-promising national team prospect who’s attempting to revive his career.
Four summers ago, Davies was a star in the making. He was a major part of the U.S. men’s national team’s improbable run to the 2009 Confederations Cup final, a forum that showcased his speed and playmaking abilities. Combined with his success at French club Sochaux FC, the up-and-coming Davies appeared to be a shoo-in for a spot on the World Cup roster in 2010.
But in October 2009, his promising career was derailed after he was seriously injured in a car accident that claimed the life of a female passenger. He suffered multiple broken bones and the months of grueling rehabilitation he underwent in the aftermath forced him to miss the 2010 World Cup altogether.
Sixteen months after the accident, he returned to the pitch in December 2010 with Sochaux, but was loaned to D.C. United prior to the start of the 2011 season. He thrived in the nation’s capital, scoring 11 goals in 26 games. But once the loan expired following the season, he returned to Sochaux, only to discover that his role there had been greatly reduced.
Last summer, he signed a deal with Randers, hoping to reclaim the scoring form that eluded him toward the end of his tenure at Sochaux. It marked a fresh start for the former B.C. Eagle. It was an opportunity to revive his career in the increasingly competitive Danish Superliga. Those hopes were never realized, though, as Davies struggled mightily, and failed to find the back of the net in 23 games.
With his career stuck in neutral for the past 18 months, the Revolution decided to take a chance on the player they’ve monitored since his teenage years. And that’s really what this signing represents for both sides: A chance.
For Davies, whom Burns called “an exciting, dynamic player” in the team release, it’s an opportunity to rediscover the scoring touch that has eluded him for the better part of two years -- and in the comforts of his home state. While expectations for summertime acquisitions often reach dizzying altitudes, the Davies signing is the exception.
He will not be called upon to don a red cape and save the Revolution. In fact, with Juan Agudelo, Diego Fagundez and Saer Sene already shouldering the load on offense, Davies will likely serve in more of a sidekick role, an attacking player head coach Jay Heaps can inject into the attack when it starts to dull. And with injuries plaguing Agudelo and Sene in recent weeks, the addition of Davies will also provide necessary depth at forward down the stretch, an idea Burns alluded to in the team release.
“Charlie’s arrival will give us more options on the field and will hopefully be a great boost as we head into the final few months of the season in search of a playoff berth,” Burns said.
The Revolution (8-8-6), who currently sit three points behind the final postseason berth, are not only banking on the idea that a change in scenery -- familiar scenery, at that -- will rejuvenate Davies’ career. They’re also hoping that the chance they took on Davies will bolster their postseason ambitions, as well.