Posts Tagged ‘Charlie Davies’

Charlie Davies: “I Don’t Think I Worked This Hard To Come Up Short”

It’s 5:30AM PST and I’m about  to get on the phone with Charlie Davies.

I’m tired.

Chuck D: Back in (near) full effect

Charlie gets on the phone.

A cheery “Bon Jour!” follows.

“Bon Jour, Charlie, how are you?”

“I’m good, man; I’m good.”

He should be the tired one.

While the rest of Charlie answers come through–dare I say–fatigued from repetition, there are morsels of dialogue that suggest the spirit of Davies–you know the one that proclaimed back on October 7th 2009 the United States fit to hoist the World Cup–has not dulled an iota since that date. In fact, if you read a little further, you’ll find that proclamation barely recalibrated.

Statements like, “We’ve got a chip on our shoulder from the Confederation Cup when we lost to Brazil, to watch them dance around on the field after they beat us. We still have some unfinished business.”

and

“We’ve got a good team (FC Sochaux), capable of playing in Europe. It was unfortunate this season. I think we underachieved. But next year, we’re going to take a good stab at getting a place to compete in Europe.”

Same Charlie spirit. More pensive but every bit as determined.

Now, the rest of the conversation with the US striker whose body and World Cup candidacy appeared to rudely fall apart one fateful night last October.

TSG: You must be just inundated with media requests and lots of work, how many more interviews do you have today?

Charlie Davies: A few I think.

TSG: I’ll keep our time short. (Sorry Charlie, completely lied on this one).

CD: Appreciate it.

TSG: Let me get this one out of the way quickly here. There have been a lot of reports, erroneous reports it would appear, conjecture, about your “readyness” this week. Care to make a statement on that?

CD: I’m doing everything I possibly can to make sure I try to get into a match before the end of this year. It’s been stated that I had no chance.

Of course my president thought a month ago, my president thought I wouldn’t be able to get back on the field.

I’ve come a long way and I still have a little ways to go, but I think I’ll be ready to play in a match.

I still have a little ways to go, but I expect to play.

Getting ready for May 15th

TSG: So the May 15th game at home, you expect to be passed fit for that final game?

CD: I do expect to.  I’m really keen on getting into that last match.

TSG: Do you expect to make the World Cup 30-man roster next week? (This interview was conducted on May 6th.)

CD: I hope to.

I’m just hoping I just get a chance to get into the camp, continue to progress and hopefully step into camp feeling great and working hard. And then of course it’s about getting into that final 23.

It’s been my goal since getting out of the hospital bed and into a wheelchair, since getting on crutches. Training.

All this pain. I don’t think I worked this hard to come up short.

I’ll make sure if I get called up, I’ll be ready.

TSG: Are you still in pain at all?

CD: I’ve been extremely lucky not to have any setbacks. I haven’t experienced pain for two or three months now. When I’m working out I feel nothing. I feel good; I feel great.

That’s been a huge help because in the beginning I felt tendonitis and had some aches and pains. But in the past two months I haven’t felt any pain and that’s been a huge success for me because I’ve been able to do more.

TSG: I’m going to step back now and we’ll try to run through some things in chronological.

I’ve been wanting to ask you this question for awhile. Since before your injury.

(The Counterattack Heard Round The World)

You and Landon combined for what TSG calls “The Counterattack Heard Round the World.” You became only the 4th US guy to score in the Azteca…that goal on a pretty slip pass from Landon. Would you say you guys have special chemistry on the field, you and Donovan?

CD: Yeah, of course, I would say. Landon is a player that’s had so much experience.

I think on the field we get a good feel for each because my speed can open up so much space for him in the midfield and vice versa. We have a good understanding between us for where we need to be, where we want to be and where the ball needs to be.

We’ve definitely had a good connection with that, but we’re looking to build off it as well.

TSG: Getting to your fateful evening, I know you answered this question so I apologize, but….it’s Washington D.C. on a Monday night. It’s not exactly South Beach, Miami on a Saturday. What the heck were you doing out? What was your impetus?

CD: I was just really excited we qualified and I knew I wasn’t playing in the game on Wednesday.

I got a little overwhelmed and too excited. I wasn’t thinking clearly.

I paid dearly.

It’s something you regret. You learn from it. You grow from it.

I’ll be better for it.

TSG: Thanks for answering that one again Charlie. After your injury, fans as you know got together and, gosh, a million #9s came out against Costa Rica. I’ve been a USMNT fan for a long time. I can’t remember an event like that, nor can I remember a player having such a galvanizing effect on the fanbase.

Do you recognize the impact you have on the fans?

(Courtesy, Matt Mathai)

CD: Yeah, I do.

Seeing all the number 9s was just amazing and seeing it  in MLS games as well because I never played in MLS. That was something that was really special to me as well seeing the support from the US fans.

All the letters, all the gifts. It means a lot to me. It shows me how much people care.

It’s pushed be further. When I was going through the pain, it pushed me further and gave me the motivation to get things done.

Hopefully, I can inspire people when things don’t go your way, things happen you weren’t expecting that you can still grow from it, bounce back from it and become a better person, a stronger person.

Stu Holden: A quiet moment during the anthem (RFK, October 14th, 2009)

TSG: You’ve said before you need to get back and show your teammates. What do you need to do to make things right with your teammates?

CD: Just get back on the field and doing the things I used to do. Once I get into the swing of things and I’m back, then my next goal is I want to be better.

I could see what it could become in South Africa. What the US could become if we were always on the same page and play the great soccer that the US is capable of playing. For me it’s just getting back on the field celebrating goals together like we used to.

TSG: During your recovery, were there any simple things you did when you got down?

CD: Sleep? (Laughs)

I was doing double, triple sessions everyday. My girlfriend was helpful with the mental aspect.

Oguchi Onyewu had a huge part as well. We were together for the first couple months and just

In a true "twist" of fate, Onyewu's injury set him up to help out Davies

talking to both of them.

They helped me get through it.

Sometimes I would feel like I’m not making enough progress and I was like “I’m not where I need to be.”

I was like, “If I want to be in the World Cup I need to be further.”

If I felt frustrated, they pointed out the small things I was doing better than before. That was very helpful.

TSG: Do you kind of worry at all that your story overshadows what the team is trying to accomplish this year?

CD: No, not all. The guys are a great, great, great group of teammates.

They’ve talked with me throughout the whole process. They’ve helped me since day one. Calling me, sending txt messages. Making sure I’m alright and making sure I’m where I need to be on the road to recovery.

If I’m able to get back, I feel like it would be more of a celebration for everyone because they all helped me get back.

Confederation's Cup Final: Howard....stellar in play, anguish in defeat

At the same time we want to achieve more than we did at the Confederation’s Cup. We have something to prove. It’s almost like a chip on our shoulders after that finals loss that was so painful to Brazil.

Watching Brazil dance around right after they beat us right on the field. I still think we all have that feeling. And we know what we’re capable of doing and we can still be in a World Cup final.

TSG: We’ve heard from Bob Bradley on where he thinks you need to be in terms of conditioning, fitness to get into camp. Have they given you any hard milestones at all–your mile time, some agility drills, strength and conditioning tests, 10 minutes of stanky leg–that you need to accomplish for them to say, “Charlie, you know what, he’s ready.”

The only drill that matters...

CD: (Laughs) Well, I think for them, you know, from where I was it was always just “You know, Charlie, just keep working hard. Your mentality’s great. Your attitude has been great.”

They were obviously thinking, you known, there were so many things that happened to me, to point out, that you can’t just say run around fast and you’re good.

It was always just keep working hard. I’ve been able to stay in contact with Pierre Berrieu the strength coach for us.

And the trainers Jim Hashimoto who helped me from the beginning as well as  Ivan Pierra, the trainer for the US team.

I’ve been able to work through them and they’ve definitely helped me with what I need to do, what I need to be good at and they’ve been a tremendous help. what I need to do.

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Davies Fitness Claims Denied

Update:

Via USSF:

“As we have always said, the coaching staff is still continuing to monitor Charlie’s progress and will make a determination on whether he will be invited into the pre-World Cup training camp.”

At this point, Charlie Davies has not been ruled out of the World Cup by US Soccer.

Via  Grant Wahl on Twitter from USSF:

• US trainer Ivan Pierra did meet with Charlie Davies over the past week in France. USSF spokesman said he did not know results of check-up.

A big thanks to FC Sochaux and their spokesman for getting back to us so quickly. Their revision:

(Note, we had a different comment up on TSG earlier that was stated to TSG in an unofficial capacity. We have revised to the following:)

FC Sochaux athletic trainer Cédric Blomme: “Charlie’s situation is encouraging. He makes progress everyday and that’s good. It keeps his hopes alive. We can’t say it’s impossible. It’s important for him and the team. The US Soccer Federation will publish a list with 30 players and maybe he will be on this list. We have to see how far he can come in his progress.”

———-

Thanks to TSG reader K-Mac for passing this story along earlier this morning.

The gist:

Charlie....pushing it....

An AP “source” source says medical staff at FC Sochaux comment that Charlie Davies fitness levels are not high enough to merit consideration for the USMNT World Cup roster.

Here’s the article in its entirety….I put in a request yesterday to follow up with Charlie.

US star Davies loses battle for World Cup fitness

(AFP) – 58 minutes ago

SOCHAUX, France — US striker Charlie Davies, seriously injured in a car crash in Washington last October, will not be fit to compete in this summer’s World Cup, medical staff at his French club Sochaux said Tuesday.

Davies had spoken of his desire to compete in South Africa, months after a deadly car crash seemed to have shattered his World Cup dreams.

The October 13 accident killed one passenger and left the 23-year-old Sochaux star with a broken leg, multiple facial fractures and a lacerated bladder. Doctors said he would be out of action for a year.

Davies will not be fit to return to team action for Sochaux before the end of the season, a team source said, adding that he needed more time to recover.

The club, who are sixth from the bottom of Ligue 1, have said they are counting on Davies for next season.

Davies scored two goals in six appearances for Sochaux before the crash.

Disclaimer Note:

Please remember, the FC Sochaux staff has a vested interest that Davies is back and healthy for the club, not international, team competition.

Still, not heartening news for your Tuesday morning.

On Charlie: Skill Gets Him There….. ……Sentiment Draws Our Heart

I wasn’t going to address yesterday’s Bob Bradley comments, but many of you asked TSG to. Our lowest readership comes Friday evenings, so it’s a good time to sneak this one out there.

I really think there is a little too much over-saturation of the Davies’ situation right now; we’re culpable contributors mind you.

Candid...

TSG was invited to yesterday’s event in NY; we tried to make it–couldn’t make it happen. Our apologies.

So the comments and interactions I’m reading are all secondhand. In reading through the reams of copy–if transcribed correctly–it sounded like a refreshingly candid Bob Bradley.

Here’s specifically what Bradley said, courtesy of Grant Wahl:

“Let’s say it’s 100 steps to get back to the same level [that Davies played at before],” Bradley said. “Back to some version of regular training, you can decide what step you think that is. Is that step 60? Is that step 80? And eventually with any athlete those final steps are the hardest steps. So we still need to see where that goes. I’m so thrilled and excited that this is a great story. And Charlie is, as everybody knows for us, a popular guy. He’s a guy that everybody likes. You can’t help but feel that way about him.

“The only part that’s coming up is this: There’s going to be a decision on our end that is simply about the World Cup. I know that’s been one of his motivating forces in this whole thing. Regardless of how that particular decision goes, it’s gonna be important … If at the end he’s at step 80 and we think in order to start that camp he needs to be at 85, that can’t get in the way of him getting back to step 100. So it’s a tricky part because, look, I know what’s on the table right away. I know that a lot of his drive has been with that goal. And that means something to all of us. But at the end of the day, we still have to assess completely where he is as we make decisions, even for the camp.

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Rockin’ Charlie Davies Awareness Day

Learn about this image below...

Thank you kindly for the amazing outpouring of support for our Charlie Davies tribute today. What a strong and amazing fanbase the USMNT has. I think maybe we’ll just keep April 6th as Charlie Davies day going forward here at TSG.

Some quick closure mentions:

• A big thank you to Jozy Altidore and Maurice Edu (who helped broadcast in October as well) whose tweets enabled Charlie to receive the message. For those not able to follow Charlie on Twitter, here were Charlie’s responses:

“WOW! YOU GUYS ARE GREAT! So moved by this. The video brought tears to Nina’s eyes and mine.”

and

Again I would like to take the time to THANK you all for your continued support and prayers. I’m looking forward to doing big things! Bless!

• A killer video tribute by Jay Bell who hails from Arkansas and usually dazzles with video over at BigSoccer. Thanks Jay for the beautiful tribute.

Jay is also a contestant in the Don’t Tread Challenge with his entry: “Wave Flag Wave“. We’re feeling a little fanatical today so here it is again:

• Some great Tweets from some other members of the USMNT:

»Jozy Altidore (via Twitter): Wow what a video for charlie. I loved it. Amazing. The kid is an amazing person, friend and player. Welcome back CD9 @CharlieDavies9. USA!!!

»Maurice Edu (via Twitter): @CharlieDavies9 @stuholden22 @JozyAltidore17 Bro I already knew u was gonna b back better than ever…keep pushing, u that close. 2010, let’s do it!

Other that joined the Twitterfest:  Stu Holden, Lee Nguyen, and more…

• Some of you asked what song that was used in the tribute. That would be Kings & Queens by 30 Seconds to Mars.

• That image you see above was done by Salsa Caliente and can be used as wallpaper. You can grab a few different sizes of it at her blog here. You can also read a really cool piece on the U-17 Women’s team and their match against Haiti.

• Check out some more CD9 JO……LAZOS! over here.

• And you..we just made it to the top of Twitter. Thanks to the C.Horridus (go Philly Union!) for capturing the image below:

The April 6th Salute for Charlie Davies

Chuck will be in the house....

Update: Thank you kindly Jozy Altidore and Maurice Edu for getting the word out.

It’s Charlie Davies Awareness Day here at TSG….

CD9 Salute En Francais ∞   CD9 Salute En Español ∞  CD9 Salute In Swedish

A few months ago The American Outlaws,  The Shin Guardian, and most importantly, you reached out when Chuck Davies needed some support.

It not only sparked an event at the final qualifier game in RFK against Costa Rica, but it helped bring US fans around the world together.

Davies & Jozy: Dynamic as a duo...

Let’s do that again for Charlies Davies, let’s push him on as obviously the man has been pushing himself on with one goal since last October: to get back on the field for club and country before humanly possible.

If you support and have Twitter, just click here and to retweet @charliedavies9 the following message: “Make It Happen @CharlieDavies9! CD9 in 2010!  #CharlieDavies”

We’ll try to make #CharlieDavies a trending topic.

If no Twitter, link to this on Facebook or plaster the video below somewhere, online, offline, write it on a bathroom wall….

Tell your friends, brothers, sisters, parents, grandparents, the girl or guy you like….

We want to let Charlie know we, the fans, appreciate his efforts on behalf of us.

All about awareness….

…and please, share your comments below.

Hopefully you’ll buy into this, again, with The American Outlaws and The Shin Guardian.

Thank you.

Support: Ligue1Talk.com, The Yanks Are Coming, Constantly Offsides, The Free Beer Movement, The Pali Blues, Jay Bell (video) more….

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March 23rd: Charlie Davies Action Photo

Progressions from the unthinkable.

For more pics of Charlie Davies, go here. Courtesy FC Sochaux.

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