Posted 2010/02/18 by matthewsf in Americans Abroad, USMNT. Tagged: Charlie Davies, fc sochaux. 32 Comments
Charlie Davies, one month from seeing the training pitch…
Posted by Dylan on 2010/02/18 at 10:52 AM
A very humble Charlie in that interview, he looks determined.
I am cautiously optimistic about his return. When do you suppose is the cut off date for him, in terms of playing games at full speed. Has to be in April I would imagine. Also getting back into games and making a positive difference are two very different things.
Posted by Nick on 2010/02/18 at 10:57 AM
I would think May is the cutoff in terms of getting back onto the field. I believe early May (though I could be wrong) is when Sweatpants has to submit a 30-man roster and eventually pare it down by mid to late May to the final 23.
Posted by GeorgeCross on 2010/02/18 at 11:29 AM
If I were Bradley, I’d make that decision as late as possible, as I would want to give him every opportunity to prove his form and fitness.
Posted by Nick on 2010/02/18 at 11:49 AM
Agreed. I think Charlie should be pencilled into the 30 man roster as soon as he sets foot on the pitch for Sochoux. Then leave til the 11th hour before comitting one way or the other.
Posted by GeorgeCross on 2010/02/18 at 11:57 AM
And the point I would like to add is that Bradley can learn from other countries’ previous mistakes in taking a player that isn’t fully fit – especially as the ‘norm’ is to only take 4 forwards.
Posted by ryan on 2010/02/18 at 10:59 AM
awesome i mean the guy almost died in October, here it is feb 18th and the guy is back in France looking to return to the pitch in around a month or two? CD9 WTF!!
Posted by Swa on 2010/02/18 at 11:05 AM
Don’t want to be overconfident in his return but with every tweet and article and video interview you just can’t help but love how much of a warrior this guy is. If anyone can do it, Charlie can.
Don’t tread on us.
Posted by Pino on 2010/02/18 at 12:19 PM
stanky legs for everyone!!! one question though, does he still have rods in his legs or where they just in for the healing and eventually taken out?
Posted by matthewsf on 2010/02/18 at 12:31 PM
I think that my opinion on Davies–and this is more my own personal mindset coming in is–
How often do you use the 23rd man on the roster in a game? You don’t.
I would be fine with Davies taking a spot up top as a fifth forward at the expense of a marginal rostered player….no disrepect to say, Robbie Rogers, but is a chance and the impact of a fit Davies worth more than a Rogers cameo…in this World Cup…probably.
Posted by Matt B on 2010/02/18 at 12:52 PM
I couldn’t agree more. Plus you can’t understate the uplift to the rest of the team from his inclusion, both from an emotional standpoint as well as effort. I have to think seeing him working his butt off in training will give everyone else that extra push to work even harder (Jozy, I’m looking at you). If the guys start getting tired, all they have to do is look over to Charlie and see what he had to battle through just to be there.
Posted by GeorgeCross on 2010/02/18 at 12:59 PM
Understood, a fit Davis is a potential match winner. But my point is that if he breaks down and then you only have 3 recognised forwards, then what? You might need a plan B or C.
And usually, the “23rd man” you’re talking about is the 2nd or 3rd choice goalkeeper, or the 7th or 8th choce defender / midfeilder. I don’t know the actual stats**, but I bet historically, in most WC squads, all 4 forwards get utilised at some point or another in the tournament – especially if you’re over reliant on one or two (taking them off to protect them if the game is safe).
**Could be an interesting excercise to see which position of players are unused?
Posted by GeorgeCross on 2010/02/18 at 1:02 PM
It could be a moot point (and hopefully it is) as we’re only in February, but I would take a gamble on ONE player who is not 100%, but three? Dempsey and Onyewu are *timetabled* to be back but you never know…
Posted by matthewsf on 2010/02/18 at 1:07 PM
Great comment George…would love to find that stat.
I think, if you look back to 2006, Chief Arena went with a starting 11 that never–I don’t believe–all played on the same field together before the Czech game.
Worse, their starting midfield was injured for most of qualification. That’s ridiculous.
I think it’s fine–like England did with Theo– to bring one and max two players where there is great risk, but also great reward.
Beckham’s a great example this time around…if you’re asking him to play 90 minutes on the right flank, not great. But you ask him to play 20 minutes and chuck some balls perfectly in the box…that’s valuable.
It’s like a three-point specialist or something.
Posted by GeorgeCross on 2010/02/18 at 1:25 PM
For the record, I was against Walcott being in the 23-man squad at the expense of Defoe, and especially if you think about the fact that Owen broke down (and his fitness was questionable before the WC). What’s the point of bringing somebody that you won’t play? He was unproven in the Premier League too.
With Beckham, I understand the impact sub thing, but surely Gerrard’s delivery of the ball is good enough for set pieces? There is a small part of me that thinks Beckham’s inclusion is more political than sporting – FIFA want him because he is a big draw, and the FA want him there to use his celebrity / recognition for the 2018 bid. I could be wrong…
Sorry to digress; this is about the US and Davies, not England!
Posted by matthewsf on 2010/02/18 at 1:36 PM
No worries George — I think this begs it’s own column here in a little bit.
Check our my case for Beckham here: http://theshinguardian.com/2009/12/16/the-opposition-the-case-for-becks/
As for Walcott, I’m largely ambivalent however, I think forward is different. A different look up top changes everything while you can use the “base” (middies, defenders) consistently to merely provide service. I am not naive to think it’s of course that simple, but striking “form” and the nuances around it, for me, beg the ability to
On thing missing from the USMNT team on Bradley’s watch is that guy–and all the States really have is Cherundolo now that Hedjuk and even Mastroeni aren’t in the mix–who can play both midfield and defense so as to reduce the need for pigeon-holed subs.
Sure, Mo Edu may be that guy, but I can’t remember the last time he played outside the midfield for Rangers. Maybe its Robbie Rogers a bit, but he’s not World Cup worthy.
England, if they wanted to, can afford 5 strikers because Barry, Milner, Baines if he goes can play inside or outside in the midfield in a pinch as well as the outside spots.
I’m not a Florent Malouda fan…but of the reasons he’s a good addition to France is he can play wing forward, wing mid and wing defense in a pinch.
New column on this…shortly….for sure…
Posted by Antonio H. on 2010/02/18 at 7:41 PM
George did you forget Dempsey can slot in as a reserved forward? And also Landon for that matter if push comes to shove
Posted by GeorgeCross on 2010/02/18 at 8:38 PM
Not at all Antonio – I personally think that both Dempsey’s and Donovan’s best position is not in the hole, but out wide, cutting in or arriving late. You take them from their best position and who is going to fill their shoes? Same sort of issue but different position. But I’d be more inclined to push Dempsey up front if I had to. With Donovan’s speed, agility and ability to run with the ball, why would you want him in such an advanced position? IMO, you’d want him to pick up the ball in the middle third and run at defenders. Pace scares the living daylight out of defenders.
Saturday will be an interesting match up with Evra. Although, I wouldn’t be surprised if Moyes switched him to the other wing to take on the weaker full back Da Silva instead.
Posted by Antonio H. on 2010/02/18 at 9:33 PM
Not to beat a dead horse here but he did play that sort of undefined tweener role in the Confed. Cup with Holden(i think?) coming on for a forward. Whether he can do it for the full 90 is unknown but we damn sure know he can do it for 30.
Holden gives better service into the box, as does Rogers although he’s more 1-v-1-minded. But after rewatching the last qualifier against Costa Rica(again. . .for the 6th time) I’d put my money on him over Holden in the Super-Sub role. Yes I know the Costa-Rica-is-a-joke-compared-to-the-real-deal argument, but still. . .it’s something.
About Landon, that’s an absolute last resort. Agreed about the pace just ask Ashley ;-}
Let’s see if Landyn-O-mite can eat up another French outside back. Does Traore even count though? He looked like a dog chasing his own tail.
Posted by KMac on 2010/02/18 at 5:46 PM
Roger that Matthew! GO CD 9!
Posted by i like tuesday on 2010/02/18 at 1:57 PM
Davies isn’t exactly our version of Walcott – he’s more like our Roo of the previous Euros. You know, the one who stomped on the Carvalho family jewels? Yeah, that one.
The drop off is pretty steep after him. If you ask me, we just aren’t beating England without his running pull the England back 4 out of shape. With his intelligent movement, you’ve got a game on your hands, as Spain and Brazil both found out last summer. If he’s managed to see the pitch for Sochaux by end of season, you take him, no question. Along with Dempsey, these guys are two of our 3 most talented attackers so you just have to take what they can give you. Someone needs to develop a VORP stat for soccer to illustrate this.
As a CB, Onyewu is a different story. That’s why his injury is the most worrying. If he’s only 85-90% he probably should stay home, whereas I’d probably take Davies and Dempsey at that point.
Posted by GeorgeCross on 2010/02/18 at 2:05 PM
Tuesday: I wasn’t trying to trivialise Davies by comparing him to Walcott. It was more if you’re only going to take 4 forwards can you take a player who is not 100% fit. My Walcott statement was, I guess, magnifying what a silly decision it was of Sven’s to include him.
I agree with your last statement: an unfit forward might not win you the match, but an unfit defender might lose you the match.
Posted by i like tuesday on 2010/02/18 at 2:39 PM
I understand you weren’t… I was just pointing out there’s a difference between taking one of your best players when 90% fit when he’s still far better than the next option compared to taking a marginal player who is 90% fit when you could have a marginal player who is 100% fit. You’d take 90% of Rooney no question while the latter option is a typically Sven-ish fit of madness. I think that means we agree.
Posted by GeorgeCross on 2010/02/18 at 5:12 PM
I would take a 90% fit Rooney considering his blistering form so far – and play him for 60-65 minutes. But I guess the biggest issue is your comment about the drop off in quality (depth of players available). Obviously for us, Rooney is irreplaceable, he is our key man. But we do have other options, although not as good, *playing regularly* at a good level.
Posted by Matt Mathai on 2010/02/18 at 2:07 PM
Couldn’t agree more. A partially fit Davies might be useful, but a sub-100% Onyewu might be a liability.
I hope I feel more comfortable in a couple of months, but I’m pretty antsy right now.
Posted by KMac on 2010/02/18 at 5:52 PM
Man, that Charlie Davies is an inspiration. Just think what the rest of us could accomplish if we could manifest 50% of his determination and guts, and 50% of his dramatic results. I am going to have to think quite a bit on that. That is why I LOVE this game. And the USMNT.
Posted by Bob on 2010/02/18 at 6:54 PM
Awesome news and interview! I read an article or was listening to a podcast where they said that Davies was an all-state wrestler and thus he credits that training with keeping him strong and fighting to get back so quickly.
Posted by kaya on 2010/02/18 at 7:38 PM
I agree with George that we shouldn’t be using the group stages to get Davies match fit like England tried with Rooney and Brazil with Rotundo in 06… but I don’t think we’re at the stage yet where we take the group stage for granted, so I doubt this is a concern.
I’m pretty sure this is one call that The Bob will get right (it’s everything else I’m worried about.)
You gotta wish all the best for this Charlie, he’s got such an infectious energy that can even affect you through the tv screen.
Posted by GeorgeCross on 2010/02/18 at 8:46 PM
Rooney’s going to put a couple past Tim “I couldn’t handle the pressure at United” Howard. Let the mind games begin!!
I bet the English redtops have a field day with it!
Posted by Gino on 2010/02/18 at 11:19 PM
I’ll admit that when I read Ives Garlacep’s article about Davies’ progress, I was pleasantly surprised yet guarded and pessimistic about his chances for S. Africa. Watching this video has me daring to dream. Although I still won’t project him as 100% sure for this summer, I can’t help but think about the possibilities, especially considering the dearth of suitable options at forward for the Nats. That said, Charlie at 80 to 90% is probably a better option than what we’ve seen from Findley or Cunningham so far.
If Charlie’s progress is as good as his determination, I like the idea of him as a 2nd half sub for Dempsey up top. If CD is closer to 90%, then maybe Clint can replace him at forward in the 2nd half, as I believe he did at the Confed Cup. In either scenario, Holden could either start at RM or come in as a sub for Dempsey. Like I said, dare to dream!
Posted by Weekend: Junior & The Shin Guardian Clash « The Shin Guardian on 2010/02/19 at 12:33 AM
[...] Killer photog man Matt Mathai on injuries on the USMNT: “A partially fit Davies might be useful, but a sub-100% Onyewu might be a [...]
Posted by GeorgeCross on 2010/03/01 at 6:30 PM
Not sure if you have seen this:
Posted by matthewsf on 2010/03/01 at 6:33 PM
I like to think we have better and more comprehensive coverage. :>
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