Recent times have been difficult for Charlie Davies. The former United States international has endured a 2 ½ year scoring drought, while only managing 27 first-team appearances between Randers FC and the New England Revolution. Despite this, the 27-year-old is approaching the 2014 season with a positive outlook and a sense of gratitude.
By making a full-time move to the Revolution, Davies has put himself in the perfect position to reignite his career. Not only will the New Hampshire native be playing for his hometown team, but he will be surrounded by a number of young, dynamic players. Furthermore, he will have the support of head coach Jay Heaps, who has served as both a teammate and opposing coach.
Although Davies only contributed 23 minutes last year after joining the Revs on loan on August 9th, Heaps knows that the Boston College product has something special to offer.
"He's our X Factor because I think he's versatile enough to play any of the three attacking forward positions," Heaps commented. "And for me, we're looking at him as someone that pushes the guys in front of him."
A calf injury limited Davies to only appearing in the preseason finale, where he contributed 19 minutes on the left wing. The late start to the year was difficult for Davies because of the amount of time he spent preparing for the new season.
"Just a week before preseason, I ended up getting a calf strain, which was obviously frustrating," Davies explained. "I tried to push myself to get back on the field [but I kept] having a setback, pushing myself and having a setback. Now I finally feel that I've climbed the hill."
With the injury behind him, Davies will be looking to regain the pre-accident form that earned him 17 caps with the US national team. A large part of achieving this goal is getting regular minutes and building chemistry with his new teammates.
"You know, when you're playing consistently [and] getting back into a rhythm with a team and playing game after game, I think that's when I start to get into form," Davies said. "And I think that's when exciting things will happen. So, I'm just looking forward to helping the team and then I think while I'm doing that I'll also continue to get better as a player."
Davies recognizes that the talent and depth on the team will make it difficult to secure a spot in the starting eleven. He did, however, point out that he has a couple of qualities that will be hard for Heaps to ignore.
"I think the fortunate thing with me as a player is [that] I can be used kind of all over," Davies claimed. "Speed kind of kills no matter what position you're playing, and as long as I get in dangerous positions I think I can help this team win."
Davies, who called 2014 a "do or die" season for him, is full of emotions about the upcoming year. And although he's completely aware of his recent struggles, he isn't nervous at all.
"I'm more excited and anxious," Davies remarked. "It's one of those things where you know you put in so much work that you're ready for it. You're ready for the challenge. I'm extremely, I guess, thankful that I'm in this situation."
If anyone questions whether the competitive fire is still there, let those fears be laid to rest. How hungry is he for that first goal?
"So hungry. Too hungry would be the answer."
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