New England Soccer Today

A Fighting Chance

What if I told you about a local kid – and a really good soccer player at that – was hitting a few speed bumps while embarking on an improbable comeback from multiple injuries with his foreign club?

What if I told you that everyone but his manager was on board with this comeback? And what if I also told you that, as result of his manager’s indifference, this same kid was at the subject of loan deals?

Would Charlie Davies benefit from a short-term loan to the Revolution next season? (Photo by CHRIS ADUAMA/

Would you believe me if I told you that this kid could benefit from continuing his comeback in MLS rather than abroad?

If so, is it crazy to think Charlie Davies should continue his rehab with the Revolution on a loan deal with Sochaux?

Seriously. I’m not joking. Not even half-joking. And I’m not on drugs, either.

Think about it: Davies, who we all know is bravely battling back from the multiple injuries he sustained in a deadly car accident last year, is not only struggling to rediscover his form, but is also restore the confidence Sochaux manager Francis Gillot once had in him.

“He’s doing better,” said Gillot earlier this month to French talk show Larque Foot. “He’s progressing slowly but he isn’t ready to play in Ligue 1. We might loan him out this winter so he can play regularly during the second part of the season.”

Clearly, Ligue 1 isn’t an option in the mind of the man who matters most. At least not this season.

At this juncture, it’s clear that an alternative is necessary. And what better place for Davies to heal, both physically and psychologically, than back in his native New England?

I won’t lie: the likelihood of this happening is Qatar ’22 improbable. Davies, who’s already bypassed MLS in favor of Europe once already, would have to seriously switch his focus from playing internationally to starring here in the States – for the interim. Not to mention the premium for a player of Davies’ talent, no matter how badly bruised the player or how short the loan, is likely far above entry level.

But, let’s take a minute or two to think about the immense benefits for all parties involved.

Let’s explore a scenario that Davies arrives at the conclusion that a return to Beantown would actually aid in his recovery. And let’s say the Revolution, who announced their intentions of opening the wallet next season, are ready to write a check for the local lad.

First and foremost, it would allow the former Boston College striker to continue his rehab in a familiar setting. Ask any medical professional about the advantages of recovering in a place in which the patient feels safe and comfortable. Rehabbing close to his family and friends would certainly provide that.

Second, the MLS preseason isn’t terribly far away. The Revolution typically open camp in late-January/early-February, which gives Davies additional recovery time to unhurriedly ease himself into training and preseason drills before digging into first division football.

Next, he would be coming to a club where all but three positions aren’t penciled in, and none of which are up top. The added pressure of trying to break into a squad midseason is nonexistent in Norfolk County. The situation for a recovering player of his caliber could not be more ideal. He’ll be given a serious look at striker.

Let’s also not forget one critically import aspect of returning home. Boston has some of the greatest quality medical professionals in the world. If there’s a perfect place to undertake any kind of advanced rehabilitation, it’s none other than Beantown.

And these are only the player’s benefits.

The Revolution? Well, a known talent like Davies would almost certainly draw a few more fans to Gillette Stadium. No designated player necessary.

Then, there’s the on-field impact that a supremely-talented goalscorer like Davies could potentially offer. He’ll be motivated to perform not only for himself, but the close friends and family nearby.

Plus, it’s worth mentioning that the Revolution have already gotten a taste of Davies. During a Revs-BC preseason scrimmage back in 2006, he wowed the brass with a spectacular showing, including an eye-popping bike that had left everyone in awe. Believe me, the kid’s no stranger around these parts.

I’ll admit: this is all wild speculation/naivete on my part. This idea is about as far-fetched as Pele and Giorgio Chinaglia playing for the Cosmos next year. It’s crazy.

But is it crazy enough to actually work?


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