The announcers for Friday Night Futbol on Univision Deportes can say some crazy things (click here to find out), but this past weekend a proposal was made that might not be as absurd as it sounds: Charlie Davies should be called up for this summer's Gold Cup.
Davies, who last appeared for the US National Team in 2009, is playing some of his best soccer since the car accident that nearly took his life. Starting 2015 as a bench player, Davies made the most of his minutes and has now firmly established himself as a full-time starter. Scoring in his last four games, Davies now has more goals in nine appearances this year than he did during 2014 regular season.
For strikers, form and confidence are important and Davies is clearly beaming with both. The dancing striker is taking on opponents, fighting for every ball, and, most importantly, capitalizing on his opportunities. During his recent hot streak, Davies has taken 11 shots with six being on target and four ending up in the back of the net. This is the type of form you want from a national team striker.
There's no doubt that Davies is a different player than he was when he first emerged on the national stage in 2007. This could be for the better, however, as he's moved beyond simply relying on his superior physical attributes to become a very well-rounded player. While not a traditional number 9, Davies now plays the role well. The same can be said about his heading ability, which was originally a weakness.
Davies' best quality, however, is his sharp thinking. The New Hampshire native knows how to make the right runs, whether it's to create an opportunity for himself or one for his teammate.
Davies' quest to return to the national team is aided by the fact that the US is low on quality forwards. Consider that Chris Wondolowski continues to earn call-ups. While he's a very talented MLS scorer, he's currently 32 years old, putting his international future in question. Davies, 28, still has plenty of productive years ahead of him. Furthermore, he's an experienced player that serves as a positive locker room influence.
USMNT coach Jurgen Klinsmann certainly has his eye on the New England Revolution as Jermaine Jones, Lee Nguyen, and Juan Agudelo have recently earned call-ups. Could Davies be next? He certainly hopes so.
"I still want more," Davies told MLSSoccer.com's Craig Forde in April. "Fortunately, I was able to play in a couple of World Cup qualifiers, and for me nothing really changes except the opponent. It’s something that you really look forward to. Every day I’m working here trying to hopefully get back one day so I can put that jersey on one more time."