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Bob Bradley comments on Charlie Davies

Among the variety of questions tossed at him after the first day of U.S. World Cup training camp at Princeton University, Coach Bob Bradley addressed the decision to exclude forward Charlie Davies, who was attempting to earn a roster slot after recovering from injuries suffered in an auto accident last fall.

Bradley said his staff conferred regularly with French club Sochaux in the evaluation process and ultimately decided that Davies was not at a point in his comeback where he could perform at a world-class level.

"We talked throughout the process with their coaches. We knew exactly what it looked like at training. [U.S. medical staff visited at least twice.] I saw a video of training. We put it all together. We recognize that Charlie has put, up until now and will need to continue to put, a tremendous amount of work into his rehab, and we are all supporting him."

I asked Bradley if he was surprised at Davies' response to not being selected to the training camp roster and the player's pointed comments about Sochaux.

To read Bradley's thoughts.....

"There is a lot of emotion at the time. From right after the accident until now, he put all his energy and emotion into his rehab and he did it with an obvious timetable. We talked about that along the way."

Bradley then shared a conversation that he had with Davies in February.

"I told him that I felt that, if he could keep his attitude, his mentality, his work ethic, that that was going to be very important. But I also said, 'If you can find a way to work and put everything into it and maybe not have so much to say, I think it would work for you. You don't want to put yourself into position that you are making all this progress, and yet somehow it seems like a failure because the timing just doesn't coincide with the World Cup. What is most important is that you can still get yourself back to the level that you were playing before the accident.'

"We still talk about that with him, and hopefully he got his emotion out but that he can continue to move forward. The guys on the team, his friends, are right there behind him."

Understandably, with training camp open, Bradley didn't want to discuss the issue any further.

My take: Bradley was disappointed in Davies' decision to speak publicly over the last few months and, with the help of flowery media reports, create an impression that he was further along than he actually was. Essentially, Davies built an expectation that he might not (probably not?) be able to meet.

I will create a new post in a few minutes with U.S. news and notes, including an injury update.....

By Steve Goff  |  May 17, 2010; 12:40 PM ET
Categories:  2010 World Cup , Americans Abroad , U.S. men's national team  | Tags: Bob Bradley, Charlie Davies, U.S. national soccer team, World Cup  
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Next: U.S. World Cup news & notes


agreed 100% on your take SG.

I like that Bradley kind of sticks it back to Charlie, as if to say "thanks for making me look like a jerk".

Posted by: VTUnited | May 17, 2010 12:49 PM | Report abuse

BB hates twitter.

Posted by: Reignking | May 17, 2010 12:50 PM | Report abuse

I think Bradley is trying to justify upsetting the fans in favor of some questionable roster choices.

I love that he is blaming Charlie, when US Soccer benefitted heavily over the past few months with Charlie's progress. US Soccer did not keep their mouths shut about his progress either. How many interviews has the trainer down alone?

If he is training fulltime with the first time, taking tackles and scoring goals.. what is the problem with him not being called up for camp. The squad, even without him, looks like a red cross wing with injuries to everyone.

Posted by: Shanoni | May 17, 2010 12:56 PM | Report abuse

I'm with Goff and VTU.

Charlie, while needing to inspire himself towards recovery, looks like BB clearly felt like he should have kept a lot lower profile.

Bradley should be done with the subject. I'm not saying that he should be a jerk if a reporter asks him but he should not invest more energy into something that has already been decided. There is work to be done and Charlie is not there. The explanation as to why has been given more than once.

Posted by: yankiboy | May 17, 2010 1:00 PM | Report abuse

If he is training fulltime with the first time, taking tackles and scoring goals..

Posted by: Shanoni | May 17, 2010 12:56 PM

Is that what CD9 has been doing because I don't remember reading that anywhere...especially not the scoring goals part.

Posted by: VTUnited | May 17, 2010 1:01 PM | Report abuse

Goff, you're hopping on late to the big story of the day, Henry to NYRB.

Posted by: nvamikeyo | May 17, 2010 1:06 PM | Report abuse

The lesson, from Bradley, to Adu, to Altidore: stay off the Twitter, at least as it concerns your career!

Posted by: nairbsod | May 17, 2010 1:06 PM | Report abuse

That should read "Davies" not "Bradley"

Posted by: nairbsod | May 17, 2010 1:08 PM | Report abuse

It's not a big story here in DC because we have Henry ennui.

Posted by: OWNTF | May 17, 2010 1:09 PM | Report abuse

@Shanoni: How did US Soccer already benefit from Charlie Davies few months of progress? The only way they benefit is if he continues to prpgress and gets back on the field.

Posted by: GeneWells | May 17, 2010 1:12 PM | Report abuse

I think Charlie's attitude and focus on getting back is commendable. The frustration of not reaching his goal is understandable, but in October, the real thought was that he wouldn't even be able to play at all. The fact that he's come as far as he has is incredibly impressive.

Bradley doesn't sound like he gave Charlie some false promises or anything, but you've got to wonder if Charlie ever heard anything but what he wanted to hear.

Personally, I'm glad that Bradley didn't make the "popular" decision and select Charlie for the roster.

Four years ago Bruce Arena selected a recovering John O'Brien. Generally speaking, John O'Brien's selection made since because he was described by many players as being one of the most technical players the US had ever produced AND he had proven himself on the World Cup stage in Korea. Unfortunately, John O'Brien never really recovered and was a not factor in the World Cup.

When you look at how that team performed, it really made me wonder whether putting someone like Freddy Adu on the roster would have had a more positive effect on Adu's development than simply adding O'Brien. Granted, now I think Adu would not have learned much and that he would have only believed his own hype even more, but I thought at the time that he might learn from being around such veterans.

In the end, Charlie has been so focused on getting back for the World Cup and now that he's missed it, he's targeting his frustration at anyone but the one person who could have prevented all of this from happening to begin with, himself. This is probably one of those life lessons that some people have to go through, but hopefully Charlie stays on track with his recovery can contribute to the US again in the future.

Posted by: TCompton | May 17, 2010 1:25 PM | Report abuse

I agree with Bradley. However, the proof will be in how the US performs in South Africa. Especially the offense. If they don't advance from the group, fail to score enough goals or demonstrate a lack of speed up top, you can bet everyone will blame Bradley for his choice to not include Davies. It sucks but you simply can't include non-match-fit players.

Posted by: tundey | May 17, 2010 1:31 PM | Report abuse

I love that he is blaming Charlie, when US Soccer benefitted heavily over the past few months with Charlie's progress. US Soccer did not keep their mouths shut about his progress either. How many interviews has the trainer down alone?
Posted by: Shanoni

I'm not aware of them. Source?

Goff isn't reporting on Henry because there is nothing new.

Posted by: Reignking | May 17, 2010 1:36 PM | Report abuse

Shanoni wrote:

I think Bradley is trying to justify upsetting the fans in favor of some questionable roster choices.

How would explaining the thought process behind leaving CD9 off the team placate his critics. They'll never be happy, and he knows it.

Shanoni wrote:

I love that he is blaming Charlie, when US Soccer benefitted heavily over the past few months with Charlie's progress. US Soccer did not keep their mouths shut about his progress either. How many interviews has the trainer down alone?

USSF "benefitted (sic) heavily"? Really? How so?

Shanoni wrote:

If he is training fulltime with the first time, taking tackles and scoring goals.. what is the problem with him not being called up for camp. The squad, even without him, looks like a red cross wing with injuries to everyone.

Who said he was "taking tackles and scoring goals"? Show me one published report.

Shanoni, everything you wrote is just wrong or speculation. It's the internets, I know, but come on...

Posted by: PrinceBuster21 | May 17, 2010 1:38 PM | Report abuse

I recall CD being excited because he scored a goal in training, prince, via his twitter.

Posted by: Reignking | May 17, 2010 1:52 PM | Report abuse

Correct. CD9 did report scoring a goal in training, and I believe said something to the effect of 'more to come'. Sadly, I think he believed that meant he was ready to play in the World Cup.

Charlie's progress has been inspirational, and his frustration is understandable, but it would be better for him to realize that he's not going to the World Cup due to his own poor decisions (break curfew, get in a car with someone that has been drinking), instead of blaming others.

The frustration from the fans is understandable as well. Whatever the reasons for his exclusion, the reality is our beloved Nats are missing the most dangerous forward we have available, that can keep teams honest with his speed and has a finishing touch. He will be sorely missed, no doubt.

Posted by: PattersonPark76 | May 17, 2010 2:02 PM | Report abuse

I've been relatively annoyed with all the recent articles placing blame on Charlie's speaking out in Twitter as the reason we're all surprised that he wasn't included. Like somehow he should have kept his mouth shut. I went back through all his tweets and while he said plenty of times things to the effect of "here I come" and "back to full training", he never said anything about being back in the world cup. His tweets were more like him just keeping the faith and desire for a comeback.

Its just my opinion, but I remember specific tweets and articles by Ives that are the main reason for my surprise. He and other journalists did more to raise my expectations that CD would be on the world cup squad than Charlie ever did.

And now to blame Charlie just seems like piling on.

Posted by: OnionBag | May 17, 2010 2:14 PM | Report abuse

Bradley keeps reiterating that one of the deciding factors was that Sochaux did not feel Davies was ready.

Well OF COURSE they would feel that way, Bob! Don't you know anything about economics? There is such a strong incentive in this situation for Sochaux to claim that Davies is not ready. Why would they want to release one of their young stars to the national team after coming off such a horrible injury? Also, there are probably significant financial repercussions for the club if Davies managed to get in a game before the end of the year.

I'm not saying Davies should be on the roster, just that Bradley should have taken Sochaux's position with a grain of salt. And it appears he did not.

Posted by: andrew23 | May 17, 2010 2:38 PM | Report abuse

i trust charlie davies' soccer brain more than i do bob bradley's. also, i trust a still-not-100% charlie davies in the world cup than i do brian ching or eddie johnson.

all that notwithstanding, i would like to see a video of charlie current level of training (what is hiw touch like, how is he moving, how is he hitting the ball, etc.)

Posted by: dfunkt | May 17, 2010 2:54 PM | Report abuse

What a day!!!!! Scored that goal I been waiting for! My first goal in training!!! It's been 6 months, man I miss that feeling. Here we go!!
5:09 AM Apr 28th via web

Thank you all! Didn't pull the Stanky legg out, when I get back in a match you know it's coming! Received 1st tackle today, felt good lol!!
9:14 AM Apr 28th via web

as for how US Soccer benefitted.. how many positive stories about the USMNT and their world cup ambitions have been written without the Charlie slant for the six months leading up to the World Cup? Especially from non-soccer sources. It is a good story that sells the team

Posted by: Shanoni | May 17, 2010 2:59 PM | Report abuse

"Well OF COURSE they would feel that way, Bob!"
- andrew23

i thought the exact same thing when i heard that inane comment. a country can take a player even though they are not medically cleared by the club. didn't france do that with cisse a few years ago? maybe it was togo and adabayor or something? fokkit, i'm just sayin...

Posted by: dfunkt | May 17, 2010 3:02 PM | Report abuse

@Onionbag. I think that you make a very good point. But if Ives and others didn't note that Charlie was tweeting, the question from some would have been "why aren't you showing Charlies some love? What that guy is doing is incredible!"

I disagree with you about part of the nature of Charlie's updating everyone via his tweets. It was implied that he was busting his butt to make it back to play in the World Cup. Even in the articles that I read where he was interviewed (sorry no link. I can't remember if it was soccernet or Ives)--it was always implied.

Charlie's outburst and statement's alledged to have been made by his dad speak of his devastation about not being selected for the training camp and about how he would be ready in time for the match with the English.

It seems pretty clear that Charlie's primary goal was to return in order to play in the World Cup.

Posted by: yankiboy | May 17, 2010 3:44 PM | Report abuse

Örebro 2 - Trelleborgs FF 0, Alejandro Bedoya plays the full 90'.

It's going to be a long day for Alejandro tomorrow, starting around 4 AM to get from Örebro to the airport in Stockholm, and then going all the way to Princeton.

Posted by: big_spaniel | May 17, 2010 3:49 PM | Report abuse

Don't get me wrong. Of course getting back for the world cup was his goal. That was his whole motivation. But to blame him for implying it is ridiculous.

Again, it's just my opinion, but CD did not raise my expectations of his ability to be fit for the world cup; Ives and other journalists did.

Posted by: OnionBag | May 17, 2010 3:53 PM | Report abuse

Unbelievable. Sochaux kept him on the payroll, and they let him down?

BTW quickly, Wikipedia error: Sochaux has played only 36 games, yet every other team has played 38.

Posted by: prokaryote | May 17, 2010 3:53 PM | Report abuse

Twitter is turning reasonable, somewhat sane, grown men into creepy stalkers. Facebook is bad enough but this TwitStalking is freaking me out.

How many pro athletes screwing up their careers with their Tweets before someone buys a clue?

Posted by: DadRyan | May 17, 2010 4:01 PM | Report abuse

I know there are a lot of BB haters on this thread, but really, do you think he would leave the best striker in the pool off the list if there was a chance he could perform?

I didn't see the outburst commentby Davies , but I feel it was handled well by Bradley. "...hopefully he got his emotion out..." is a nice way of saying he understands where the guy is coming from, but don't lose focus that there is more to your career than one tourament, even if it is the World Cup.

Posted by: SoccerVA | May 17, 2010 4:29 PM | Report abuse

I don't hate BB but I certainly question his conduct. It sounds like that he had no expectation that Charlie would be ready yet HE never communicated that back to Charlie. He knew what Charlie was saying and he knew what the press was reporting. If this wasn't a last minute decision, then he should have told Charlie well before hand--not a day before the announcement. IF, it was a last minute call, then he should be unequivocal in his support for Charlie and say (1) it was a very close call; (2) he appreciated Charlie's work and effort to rehabilitate himself and (3) that it was the toughest decision he had to make.

There are some basic rules about treating people fairly, BB doesn't seem to have read the memo.

Posted by: jnel | May 17, 2010 9:38 PM | Report abuse

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