Charlie Davies is looking forward to 2014 and for good reason. The Boston College product was one of the most promising young players in the US National Team pool before a life-threatening car accident in 2009 put his career in jeopardy. Since then, Davies has spent time with four different clubs with his most recent being the New England Revolution. Davies, who hasn’t scored a professional goal since September 10, 2011, was used sparsely after joining the Revs on August 9th, but that hasn’t stopped him from being optimistic about next season.
“I knew coming here it was more of a long-term thing,” Davies commented to the media. “It wasn’t really short-term. It was really basically to adjust to the formation, the team. It’s frustrating obviously to not be a part of it, to play.”
Although Davies regularly made the game day 18, he only made four appearances for the Revs, which amounted to 23 minutes. Davies credited the lack of playing time to the scheduling of the loan.
“I think unfortunately it was bad timing,” Davies said. “When I came, it was in the thick of things. The team was in a playoff race and Jay (Heaps, head coach) is going to go with the guys that he knows.”
The new season offers more promise for the New Hampshire born striker since he has had time to acclimate himself to the players, the coaching staff and the tactics.
“It’s definitely an adjustment period because I’ve basically played a 4-4-2 my whole life,” Davies explained. “Now it’s a 4-3-3 and (Heaps) wants me to be one of the wingers. Just to get used to that, being a two-way player, it’s been a little challenging.”
The new formation means new responsibilities. Davies, who claimed to be a “straight up striker,” has never been burdened with many defensive responsibilities.
“As a center forward you’re usually concerned with two centerbacks,” Davies stated. “How often do you see centerbacks running from box-to-box? So, that’s always a transition for a forward to move to a winger position and have to defend outside backs that attack.”
Spending a few months with the team has helped Davies adjust to the new formation and procedures. Davies plans to use the offseason to continue his development and ensure that he’s ready to contribute next year.
“It’s the longest preseason I’ve ever had and I’m going to take full advantage,” Davies said. “It’s going to be basically the hardest working offseason I’m going to have, even with the accident. I think I’m going to overtake the hard work I put in to get back just for this upcoming season.”
With Juan Agudelo on his way to Stoke City and the futures of Jerry Bengtson, Chad Barrett and Saer Sene in question, Davies understands that the team will need him to perform.
“The team needs somebody to step up, needs a clear finisher,” Davies explained. “Obviously Diego had a great season but he’s more of, I’d say, a midfield player. They need somebody who they can count on to score goals game-in-and-game-out and be that finisher, that closer and I’m looking forward to being that guy.”
Davies doesn’t even want to think about the consequences of a poor 2014. The quest to regain his pre-accident form has been elusive so far and another bad season could spell the end.
“For me, I feel like it’s kind of a do-or-die season,” Davies rationalized. “I’m 27. I still feel like I’m 22 because the past three years I really haven’t been able to settle down. So, here I really want to make a home for myself and in order to do that I have to be playing day-in-and-day-out.”
(image courtesy of Kari Heistad)