New D.C. United striker Charlie Davies says US coach Bob Bradley’s advice weighed heavily on his decision to join MLS, and that earning minutes in his new league is essential for his return to the national team limelight.
Davies joined ExtraTime Radio on Thursday for a lengthy interview discussing his plans in 2011 and his hopes for recovering the form that made him a superstar before suffering serious injuries in an Oct. 2009 car accident.
“[Bradley] told me, ‘Charlie, the bottom line is, you need to play,” Davies said on ET Radio. “'Would I say to play 20 minutes every game at your club now or 90 minutes in MLS, what would be better for you? That’s an obvious answer – the 90 minutes every game.’
“After he told me that,” Davies said, “it was a no-brainer. My decision was made right when coach Bradley told me that.”
Davies joined D.C. United on trial earlier this month with hopes of landing a loan deal and eventually regaining his form after not starting a first-team match with the French side Sochaux since the accident.
He landed the loan deal, but he won’t make his debut until March 19 against the Columbus Crew at RFK Stadium. His future with the US team and a potential roster spot on the CONCACAF Gold Cup roster this summer is contingent on how he plays from here.
“I need minutes, I need games, and that’s the only way I’m going to get back to my previous form, especially as soon as possible,” Davies said. “My ultimate goal, of course, is to play with the national team again, and that’s what I’m striving for.
“They want me, I know they’re all rooting for me,” Davies added. “So that means a lot to me. I gotta do whatever I can to make that happen.”
Davies also spoke about his emotions surrounding the upcoming season, admitting that he’s “battled” with the question of how he’ll feel when he actually takes the field once again.
“I’m always wondering exactly how I’ll feel,” Davies said. “I really don’t know exactly how I’ll feel until I’m there. I think I’ll be really excited and anxious to get it over with, and to show everyone I’m back. Maybe after the game it’ll be pretty emotional, but we’ll see.”
Check out the Feb. 24 edition of the ExtraTime Radio podcast, featuring D.C. United's Charlie Davies, Real Salt Lake's Nick Rimando and league executive Nelson Rodriguez talking about the new playoff structure.