Charlie Davies, the U.S. national team forward whose World Cup hopes ended in a deadly car accident 16 months ago, has joined D.C. United to recharge his career.
He joined D.C.'s camp in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., on Wednesday for a one-week trial. If D.C. officials are happy, a one-year loan agreement has been reached with Sochaux, Davies' French club.
"We're all rooting for Charlie. He's come a long way, and we're all hoping for the best,” D.C. head coach Ben Olsen told media last week. “But we have to be realistic in our job and figure out if he's right for this club at this time.
“There’s no question Charlie will be back. Whether or not it’s now, three months from now, six months from now, that’s what we’re here to find out.”
Davies, 24, has not played in a competitive match since he was critically injured in an October 2009 accident that left one person dead. He suffered a lacerated bladder, fractured right tibia and femur, fractured elbow, facial injuries, and bleeding on the brain, requiring months of surgeries and rehab, followed by a failed, fervid attempt to return to form in time for last summer's World Cup.
The speedy Davies, who emerged as a first-choice forward for U.S. coach Bob Bradley during World Cup qualifying, called the possible move to D.C. “a wonderful opportunity for me” and told media he knows what he needs to do to return to his best form.
“I haven’t played in a year at a high level of competition,” he said. “I still have to progress, but I’m happy with where I’m at right now, and with work I’ll be a force and back to being a successful striker. … I think Sochaux knows that I will eventually get to where they want me to be. The problem now is two strikers in front of me both have nine goals each. At the time, the coach has his hands tied as far as giving me the chance to show what I can do and to get the playing time I need to get back into form.
“That’s where it is right now. I've moved on to try and get in the right situation, which I think I’ve found.”
ON THE WEB
Forward/midfielder Kei Kamara (Lawndale/Leuzinger HS and Cal State Dominguez Hills) scored in Sporting Kansas City's preseason opener, a 2-2 draw with Columbus.
Goalkeeper Nick Rimando (Montclair/Montclair HS and UCLA) signed a one-year extension, through 2013, with Real Salt Lake.
Portland forward Bright Dike is expected to be out as many as nine months after suffering a torn Achilles' tendon in Friday's draw with the Ventura County Fusion.
Pasadena-based Los Angeles Futbol Club canceled its agreement with the New York Cosmos' Academy West.
The Cosmos' management structure added former French star Eric Cantona as director of soccer.
The Houston Dynamo held groundbreaking on a downtown stadium slated to open in April 2012.
L'Equipe reports that the New York Red Bulls are negotiating with French forward Nicolas Anelka, who appears surplus to Chelsea's needs.
The Red Bulls have brought in three foreign players: English forward Luke Rodgers (from Notts County), Norwegian midfielder Jan Gunnar Solli (SK Brann) and Brazilian midfielder Marcos Paullo (trained with them last year).