Charlie Davies Comeback Following Car Accident Is Nearly Complete

On June 21, 2009, the United States appeared that they would once again get eliminated early from a major international tournament after losing to Italy and Brazil to start the Confederations Cup.

Needing a win by at least three goals and an Italian loss by three goals to advance onto the knockout stage, coach Bob Bradley decided to give three players a chance to start against Egypt.

Out of those three players, the one player who made the most out of his opportunity was striker Charlie Davies, a 22-year-old striker who at the time played for Hammarby in the Swedish Allsvenskan.

In the 21st minute, Davies was able to score following confusion in the penalty area following a throw-in. This goal turned out to be boost for the Americans as they were able to beat Egypt 3-0 and were able to reach the semifinal of the Confederations Cup after Italy were defeated 3-0 by Brazil.

In the semifinal, the U.S. faced Spain, the defending European champions, winners of their last 15 competitive matches and were unbeaten in their last 35 matches.

But that semifinal in Bloemfontein proved to be a fateful night for the Spanish, as the Americans stunned Spain 2-0 thanks in large part to the play of Davies.

During the 67 minutes that he was on the pitch, Davies supplied an assist to Jozy Altidore for the first goal of the match, and used his speed to prevent Spain's Sergio Ramos from making attacking runs.

In the Confederations Cup final against Brazil, Davies supplied an assist to Landon Donovan in the United States 3-2 loss to Brazil. But without question, Davies was the biggest new star for the Americans in the tournament.

In the following months, Davies' star shined even brighter after a solid showing in the Gold Cup and scoring against Mexico at the famed Estadio Azteca. Davies was also able to secure a move to Sochaux in France's Ligue 1 during the summer.

However, on October 13, 2009, Davies was involved in a car accident outside of Washington DC the night before the United States were going to play their final World Cup qualifier. The United States had already qualified for the World Cup after defeating Honduras 3-2 several days prior.

Davies was coming back from a nightclub that night with two women when the car crashed into a metal guardrail, causing the car to break in half.

Davies (who was a passenger in the car) suffered a lacerated bladder, fractured right tibia and femur, a fractured elbow, facial injuries and bleeding on the brain. Unfortunately, the passenger who was sitting next to Davies in the back of the car died on the scene of the accident.

During the final qualifier for the United States, American fans raised cards with the number nine during the ninth minute to honor Davies. 

In the following months, Davies started to get back to work to make an attempt to play in the World Cup. Davies was able to make some extraordinary strides in his comeback, but was never able to get approved by Sochaux's medical staff to play.

On May 11, 2010, coach Bradley did not name Davies to the United States 30 man preliminary roster after he wasn't cleared by Sochaux's medical staff to play in South Africa.

Throughout the World Cup, the United States needed to have a player with the speed and skills that Davies possessed with Davies replacement Robbie Findley unable to effectively help the United States. For the second consecutive World Cup, an American striker failed to score a goal.

Throughout the second half of 2010, there was very little news on the Davies front until December, when Davies was given a spot on Sochaux's roster for a match against Bordeaux. However, Davies did not get a chance to play against Bordeaux or in any Ligue One match.

But on February 1, Davies was sent on a 12 month loan to DC United of Major League Soccer to get the playing time he wasn't getting in France.

This move is also very ironic, since Davies was supposed to play in Washington DC when the tragic car accident occurred in 2009. 

Now Davies will get a chance to resume his soccer playing career on March 19 at RFK Stadium against the Columbus Crew.

This move gives Davies a chance to play for the United States in the 2011 Gold Cup that starts on June 5. If the Americans win the Gold Cup, they will qualify for the 2013 Confederations Cup.

Assuming that Davies will play up to his ability, Davies can once again pair up with Altidore up front on the American attack. Since Davies had his car accident, Altidore has only scored twice in 12 international matches.

After failing to make the American roster for the World Cup, Davies could get another opportunity to make a massive impact for the USA on a massive stage.

TAGS: International Football, , United States (National Football),