August Player of the Month could have easily gone to MVP candidate Lee Nguyen, but the renaissance of Charlie Davies is too spectacular to ignore.
Before Davies established himself as the team’s first-choice striker, the position was in a state of flux. Rookie Patrick Mullins cooled after a red-hot May, Jerry Bengtson didn’t accomplish much during his minutes and Dimitry Imbongo was nowhere to be found. Was Davies, a striker who hadn’t scored in three years, really the answer?
It turned out that he was.
Davies started the month by scoring in consecutive games; first against the New York Red Bulls and then against the Portland Timbers. While the New England Revolution failed to collect full points against either team, Davies’ confidence began to build.
In the month’s finale, Davies played 90 minutes for the first time while wearing a Revolution jersey. The 3-0 thumping of Toronto FC was at least partially aided by Davies, who had four shots and one assist.
With two goals and an assist in August, Davies helped ease concerns about the forward position. And for that, we honor him as TBM’s Player of the Month.
Jake: I don't care if the New England Revolution have a striker by committee, Charlie Davies was really impressive in August. He got a couple appearances in July after the World Cup break when the Revs were struggling and even though he's not consistently going 90 minutes he's finding ways to make an impact. In his four starts in August he gradually built up his fitness before playing the entire game in the Revs' 3-0 thrashing of Toronto FC.
Hemming: The Manchester man is back. Charlie grabbed hold of the centre forward spot in August and never looked back, recording two goals and an assist while building up to a full 90-minute performance against TFC. His continued productivity will prove vital down the stretch.
Davies' Line: Four starts, two goals, one assist, 304 minutes played, 7 points in TBM PotM voting.
Lee Nguyen, 6 points: The Revs creative engine just keeps improving. He capped a strong August by scoring a game-winner against TFC--his second in as many matches--and recording an elusive assist, once again cementing his role as an MVP candidate. His strength over the ball, vision moving forward and finishing ability have become an uncommon asset for this club.
A.J. Soares, 3 points: The Revolution had two shutouts in the month of August with Soares playing a big role in each. Defensively he's sound and regularly makes smart tackles. On the offensive side, he's always a threat on set pieces. Soares' ability to cover for others deserves to be recognized.
Bobby Shuttleworth, 2 points: Early on in 2014, we clamored for Knighton to take over the starting role. But Heaps stayed true to his starter, and his patience has paid off. Bobby turned in his best month of the season in August, finishing the campaign with a pair of hard-fought shutouts while (loudly) commanding his back line. The starting spot is his to keep.
The Player of the Month is compiled by members of The Bent Musket's staff. Each writer selects his top three Revolution players for the month, who are assigned point values - three points for the #1, two for the #2, and one for the #3. Then, points are totaled and the player who received the most points in the voting is named Player of the Month. Honorable mentions go to the next two players in the voting.