Charlie Davies burst onto the American soccer scene in 2009, becoming an integral part of the U.S.’ impressive run at the 2009 Confederations Cup in June and scoring the opening goal in the U.S.’ win against Egypt in that tournament.
Two months later, in August 2009, Davies scored the opening goal in the U.S.’ World Cup qualifier against Mexico at Estadio Azteca. At that time, Davies looked to be exactly the goal-scoring threat the U.S. would need to take its game to the next level at the 2010 World Cup.
However, in October 2009, the night before the U.S.’ final World Cup qualifier against Costa Rica, Davies, breaking curfew, was at a party. Leaving the party, he got into a vehicle being driven by an intoxicated woman who crashed the car, killing a third passenger and severely injuring Davies.
While at first it appeared as if Davies would make a miraculous comeback and play for the U.S. at the 2010 World Cup, he was not medically released by his club, Sochaux, and did not make the U.S. roster.
Since then, Davies has not been able to replicate the form that had him on his way to phenom status in 2009. In the 2010-11 season, he only made nine appearances for Sochaux with eight of them coming off the bench. He was loaned out by Sochaux in 2011 to D.C. United, but D.C. opted not to exercise their option to buy Davies at the end of the season. He went back to France where he and his club agreed to terminate his contract after a 2011-12 season that saw Davies play a total of 23 minutes with the first team.
So far, this season, with his new club Randers, Davies has been used primarily as a late-game substitute.
Perhaps more concerning, however, is that Davies has had numerous incidents since the accident. He was fined for diving during his stint with D.C. and publicly criticized the coaching staff after his loan ended. He also publicly criticized Sochaux for not medically releasing him for the 2010 World Cup and was caught in another speeding incident where his teammate was driving 125 miles per hour. Last winter, Davies was also involved in a ridiculous head-butting incident while playing for Randers.
Although Davies in still only 26 years old, it doesn’t appear likely he will ever become the player many Americans expected him to become back in the summer of 2009.