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Charlie Davies and the World Cup

The news involving Charlies Davies seems to get better by the day. Just five-plus months since being severely injured in an auto accident near Washington, the U.S. national team forward began light jogging Monday with his French club, Sochaux. He will continue to work with a physiotherapist for two to four weeks, and if all goes well, participate in full sessions.

Davies' comeback, in life and soccer, has been nothing short of remarkable. And as his outlook continues to improve, his place in Bob Bradley's plans will, undoubtedly, become one of the most closely followed storylines in the build-up to the World Cup.

Davies will not be a sympathetic, token selection; if Bradley does not believe he can help the team, he won't be included on the 23-man roster. So Davies must not only.....

regain his fitness, but earn his way back into Sochaux's rotation and show that his speed, touch and finishing ability have not been lost. The club has 10 league matches remaining, with the finale May 15. Sochaux also remains in contention for the French Cup and will play in the quarterfinals Wednesday at Monaco.

At the rate he has been progressing, Davies seems likely to be included on the U.S. team's 30-man preliminary roster that must be submitted to FIFA by May 11. Bradley could certainly use him, for there is not exactly an abundance of swift, internationally seasoned forwards in the American system.

But unlike other Americans seeking to return from long-term injuries, this is uncharted territory. In his rehabilitation from a ruptured patella tendon suffered in October, veteran defender Oguchi Onyewu is following a routine used by players who have suffered similar ailments. Like Davies, he too is in need of competitive matches as soon as possible.

But because of Davies' unique circumstances and the variety and extent of his injuries (ranging from a fractured tibia and femur in his right leg to a lacerated bladder), no one really knows what to expect. Not the Sochaux coaching staff, not Bradley and the U.S. Soccer Federation, and probably not Davies himself. Being able to run is one thing; being able to play at a World Cup level is another.

Based on his rapid recovery from what was career-threatening trauma, he has given everyone reason to believe that he will be in the mix when Bradley begins trimming his player pool and making plans for the start of training camp on May 16. But until we see him on the field in Ligue 1 and playing at a world-class level, we won't know definitively whether this inspiring return will become a personal and professional triumph in time for the World Cup.

By Steve Goff  |  March 22, 2010; 4:55 PM ET
Categories:  Americans Abroad , France , U.S. men's national team  
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Next: Najar signs with D.C. United

Comments

Go Charlie, Go Team USA!

Posted by: Shanoni | March 22, 2010 5:05 PM | Report abuse

Remarkable is an understatement

Really looking forward to his return, for club, and hopefully country...I have no doubt that he will excel whenever that return happens

Go Charlie, Go Team USA

Posted by: londonboy | March 22, 2010 5:08 PM | Report abuse

Find your favorite warrior monologue, and chant it for this kid.

Posted by: UnitedDemon | March 22, 2010 5:15 PM | Report abuse

Had they amputated his leg following the crash, I would still trust Davies to score more goals at the cup than Eddie Johnson, Robbie Findley, and Conor Casey combined. If he is anywhere near game-healthy, put him on that roster!

Posted by: EricVilhelmsen | March 22, 2010 5:19 PM | Report abuse

Hope Davies returns. In fact, I think about it all the time. If Davies is fit and in form the team is so much more dangerous.

I know it belongs on the last post but I traveled from DC back to Flagstaff today. So: I hope DC sings Najar. Though, I also hope DC brings him into the team slowly and properly. Lets as DC fans be excited that our youth system in producing talent, but lets not expect to much to soon. Also, hope Najar become a real talent in the future and plays of USMNT. (I only saw glimpses of him in preseason but he looks good -I also remember him from the youth cup on ESPN Classic a while back and he impressed.)

Posted by: grubbsbl | March 22, 2010 5:42 PM | Report abuse

"We're all very different people. We're not Watusi. We're not Spartans. We're Americans, with a capital 'A', huh? You know what that means? Do ya? That means that our forefathers were kicked out of every decent country in the world. We...are...the wretched...refuse. We're the underdog. We're mutts!"

Go get 'em, Charlie. Mqake me proud. :)

Posted by: SportzNut21 | March 22, 2010 6:21 PM | Report abuse

Go Charlie.

Posted by: VirginiaFan | March 22, 2010 6:29 PM | Report abuse

Behind the Badge says the squad has signed Andy Najar to the big boy team.

http://www.dcunited.com/press-release/2010/03/dc-united-academy-standout-andy-najar-signs-with-first-team

Posted by: JkR- | March 22, 2010 7:00 PM | Report abuse

I once broke my femur, elbow etc and returned to play the best football I ever played.

However, my recovery was not rushed and I was playing in a 'bush league' in Northern Virginia...NOVA FC not that anybody has ever heard of them.

Rushing the recovery to play in the World Cup? It's a tall, tall order.

Posted by: 9Nine9 | March 22, 2010 7:30 PM | Report abuse

We're all behind you Charlie!!!

Posted by: dsheon1 | March 22, 2010 9:26 PM | Report abuse

I bought his jersey anyways. I have al the confidence in the world that he'll make the team and score at least once

Posted by: carmines757 | March 22, 2010 11:08 PM | Report abuse

C'mon Charlie! You can do it!

Posted by: WorldCup | March 23, 2010 9:49 AM | Report abuse

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