FOXBOROUGH, Mass. – The prospect of joining the New England Revolution on loan first came to the attention of Charlie Davies about two weeks ago.
It didn’t take long for Davies, a native New Englander, to voice his opinion on the potential move.
“To me, it sounded like a no-brainer,” Davies said shortly after wrapping up his first training session with the Revs on Tuesday morning. “I think it’s a perfect situation for me with all the support I have here.”
Davies is still aiming to reestablish himself as a soccer player almost four years after the October 2009 car accident which not only temporarily derailed his professional career, but so nearly took his life.
It took more than a year for Davies to fully return to the field after the accident – simple tasks like walking and eating needed to mastered before soccer even became a possibility – and although he enjoyed a successful stint with D.C. United in 2011, he’s yet to settle anywhere for an extended period.
Davies briefly rejoined French club Sochaux after his recovery and before his loan spell with D.C., then returned to France after just one season in MLS. The 27-year-old forward spent the past year in Denmark with Randers FC, but never seemed to hit his stride with the Danish side.
That’s why this opportunity for the New Hampshire native and former Boston College star to come home was so tempting. As the former U.S. National Team standout works to regain top form, there’s perhaps no better place than New England, which provides the comfort of home.
“I really feel like it’s time to come back here and show people that I’m not hiding; I haven’t gone away,” said Davies. “I still think I have a lot to offer and I want to continue to get better. So I think this was the perfect place for me to come … I think it’s a perfect situation for me to thrive, so I’m looking forward to the challenge.”
During his stint with D.C. in 2011, Davies showed glimpses of the talent which once made him a budding American star, scoring 11 goals to finish just five off the pace of league leaders Dwayne De Rosario and Chris Wondolowski. And despite a goalless 23-game stretch with Randers in 2012-13, Davies believes the past year-and-a-half served to help fine tune his game as he regained some of the form he had prior to his accident.
“I think people tend to forget that after the accident, I had to learn how to walk again and how to eat again,” Davies said. “Forget soccer; just doing the normal every-day activities.
“So when it came back to soccer, the things that came to me second nature (before the accident), they weren’t there. Your instinct is one thing, but to actually make your body do it, I think that’s been difficult. I think over the past couple years, I’m finally starting to get it back.”
Davies feels faster and stronger than he did during his first go-round in MLS, and he hopes to use his pace and experience to provide the Revolution a spark down the stretch. Joining the Revs with 11 regular-season games remaining and on the brink of a playoff spot, he’s giddy at the prospect of helping his hometown team make a postseason run.
“It’s amazing to be back here, especially in the middle of the season where the team is making a playoff push,” Davies said. “I’m happy to be a part of that and try and help the team get in the playoffs. I’ve grown up in this area, I’ve watched the Revolution play since the first year they started playing here. It’s always been a dream of mine as a little kid to finally play professionally in my hometown, so I’m really excited.”