FOXBOROUGH, Mass. – Charlie Davies will be watching intently when the U.S. National Team continues its 2018 FIFA World Cup qualifying campaign on Tuesday night against Trinidad & Tobago.
On this occasion Davies is simply a fan, supporting his country and close friends on the current roster like Jermaine Jones and Jozy Altidore. But the 29-year-old New England Revolution forward is hopeful that his future could involve a much more direct role on the USMNT’s road to Russia.
“That’s always a goal. That goal will always be there,” Davies said about a potential return to the U.S. National Team. “It’s definitely a driving motivation for me. It’s a factor in me continuing to get better.”
Davies hasn’t suited up for the USMNT in more than six years; not since he went the full 90 minutes in a 3-2 road win over Honduras in a World Cup qualifier on Oct. 10, 2009. Three days later he was involved in the life-changing automobile accident which nearly derailed his career.
The six years since, spanning most of Davies’ 20s, have featured enough twists and turns, enough ups and downs, to last a lifetime. But through it all, Davies finds himself here, leading the Revolution in scoring in 2015 and generating buzz about a return to the international stage.
And that’s precisely how Davies plans to keep himself on the radar of U.S. National Team head coach Jurgen Klinsmann – by performing so well at the club level that he can’t be ignored.
“It’s something that you can’t really think about too much because you’ve got to look at what’s in front of you, and that’s the New England Revolution and scoring goals and making plays happen and continuing to get better,” said Davies. “I think I’ve made leaps and bounds as a player.
“The goal is just to continue to get better and hopefully I’ll get that shot.”
Davies hasn’t yet had direct contact with Klinsmann, but other key figures on the USMNT scene have indicated to the New Hampshire native that should he continue to produce for the Revs, he could very well find himself pulling on a different red, white and blue jersey soon enough.
“I’m very close with a lot of the players on the team, and they all seem to think that I’ll be getting a shot,” said Davies, whose 10 goals were tied for fifth-most amongst Americans in MLS this past season. “That’s always a good motivation, as well, when you hear your peers and former teammates telling you that you’re looking great and you deserve a shot.”
If and when the day comes that Davies once again suits up for the USMNT, it will be perhaps the pinnacle of a recovery that has lasted more than half a decade. In the meantime, he’s keeping his focus on the 2016 MLS season and making sure he’ll be in top form when preseason camp opens in late January.
And should Klinsmann come calling, Davies will be ready.
“I do think a shot will come eventually,” Davies said. “I just have to be ready for it.”