Thursday, January 28, 2010

Guess Who's Back

AP Photo/Paul Thomas

Since the horrible accident in October that left Charlie Davies with a lacerated bladder and fractures in his tibia and fibia in his right leg, his left elbow, and facial fractures, United States soccer fans have been asking one question: Who will replace him in the lineup going into the World Cup?

Well a new candidate has emerged and his name is: Charlie Davies.

“That's what's been driving me this whole time,” Davies told’s Ives Galarcep. “I've been looking at Web sites the whole time and they're always saying, 'We need to find a replacement for Charlie. We need to find someone because he's not going to be back.'

“These people don't know," Davies said. "They don't know me, and if they just knew me alone, let alone the determination and will I have now, you guys don't know.”

The Boston College alumnus had become the U.S.’s top option at forward, his speed creating chaos for opposing defenders and opening up space for midfielders Landon Donovan and Clint Dempsey.

However after his car accident a day after he helped the Americans qualify for their sixth straight World Cup appearance many wondered if Davies would be able to play ever again, let alone make it back in time for the June spectacle.

But here we are, still more than four months away from the biggest tournament in the world and Davies has been rehabbing at breakneck speed.

Galarcep reports that Davies is jogging and doing agility drills, has gained back 15 pounds that he lost after the accident, has one surgery left, and after a week of recovery will potentially begin training with his club team, FC Sochaux, by the end of February.

Davies has also been rehabbing alongside injured AC Milan and starting U.S. national team defender Oguchi Onyewu and the two have pushed each other and have made incredible progress, as well as keeping each other mentally strong.

The recent timetable shows Davies returning to the pitch in April.

Now, he still has a long way to go. There is the final surgery, and there is always the possibility that setback could occur, much like they have to new U.S. addition midfielder Jermaine Jones, whose stock continue to plummets.

Davies also needs to get in game shape and be prepared for full-contact that the sport offers.

Still, Davies’ determination has gotten him this far ahead in his recovery schedule and it should propel him to finish it out on time. This is fantastic news for the U.S. Soccer players and coaches as well as fans.

Davies gives the Americans an attacking weapon that the team sorely needs. He works his defenders into the ground with a combination of speed and tireless effort.
Davies up top allows Donovan and Dempsey to stay in midfield and leaves plenty of space for the two to be creative. Davies is also very close to fellow young striker Jozy Altidore and the chemistry the two have can only boost Altidore’s confidence. Davies’ talent also will mean opposing defense will not be able to double Altidore, making his job easier.

There’s still a lot of time until the World Cup and Davies’ recovery isn’t finished just yet but there is plenty of reason for the country to be optimistic heading into South Africa.

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