FOXBOROUGH, Mass. – Charlie Davies is, by necessity, a patient man.
It wasn’t always the case. Davies, like everyone else, was once young and brash. But the 2009 car accident which briefly derailed his career – and nearly took his life – forced upon him a new outlook. Weeks passed before he could even get out of bed, months before he could walk.
Patience wasn’t just an option; it was a requirement.
It’s an attribute which has served Davies well in recent years as he’s waited for an opportunity to once again prove his worth on the field. He finally earned a chance this past weekend, starting and playing 56 minutes in the New England Revolution’s 2-0 loss to FC Dallas.
It was Davies’ first MLS start in almost three years.
“I was very excited to finally get an opportunity to help the team try and get out of this rut and showcase what I can do,” said Davies, who hadn’t started an MLS match since Oct. 19, 2011, while with D.C. United. “It was one of those times where I feel like I worked so hard to prepare myself for this moment and I’m happy that I took a positive step forward.”
The occasion was bittersweet for Davies, who was thrilled to make his first start with the Revolution, but disappointed that he couldn’t prevent his side from suffering a seventh straight league defeat. He drew a team-high three fouls before being withdrawn shortly before the hour mark.
Despite the result, both the player himself and head coach Jay Heaps were pleased with Davies’ contributions as the 28-year-old provided an energetic spark at Toyota Stadium.
“I think it’s important just building good chemistry with the guys,” Davies said. “I think it was a good first game for me because I feel like the team played to my strengths and I think the team did a great job of really working hard. I think everyone gave everything they had this game.”
“With Charlie, he’s fought through some injuries. He’s had two calf injuries,” Heaps noted. “He hasn’t played a ton of minutes for us. We know what he can do and we wanted to see it on the big field. I thought he did everything we asked of him.”
The question now is whether Davies will be asked to continue in a starting role on Saturday night when the Revs host the Columbus Crew to begin a stretch of seven home games in the next seven weeks.
Davies likely isn’t yet fit enough to go 90 minutes – Heaps admitted 55-60 minutes was his limit in Dallas – but his performance will have given Heaps a decision to make when he fills out the lineup card.
“That’s a tough one when you’re a coach and you know you’re going to have to make a sub on a player,” said Heaps. “You usually don’t like those type of situations, but I thought it was time that we needed a guy like Charlie to inspire us, and he did.”