FOXBOROUGH, Mass. — The trademark eyewear gave Edgar Davids away when he took the training field, but it took New England midfielder Ryan Guy a moment or two — and a greeting from a teammate — to process the familiar face he saw when he reported for work on Wednesday morning.
“It was exciting,” Guy told MLSsoccer.com. “I walked into the locker room. I kind of looked at him, turned around and [said], 'Nah, it couldn't be.' He didn't have his glasses on, so I was like, 'It looks like him, but I don't know.'”
As improbable as it might have seemed at first glance, the former Netherlands international midfielder donned his boots, suited up in some unfamiliar training gear and went through his paces.
Davids is expected to practice with the Revs for a couple of days and take in Saturday's match against Seattle as part of a wider trip to Boston. The retired midfielder, 38, visited Harvard University on Tuesday and practiced with the men's varsity team during his time in Cambridge, Mass., according to his Twitter account.
Revolution assistant coach Stephen Myles said Davids — now a member of Ajax's advisory board — displayed a dose of the skills that took him to the top of the European game with Ajax and Juventus, among others, during his career as a tenacious defensive midfielder.
“You just hope that they watch him and they watch what he does, whether he's on the field or off the field,” Myles said. “You're talking about one of the ultimate professionals. He's been there, seen it and done it. It's enjoyable to have him out there today and you could see one or two of those old touches. He's still sharp and he looks well. It's great for the lads.”
At the very least, Davids' appearance provides a neat anecdote for at least one player who used to watch the famous midfielder play for giant European clubs and see him in commercials on television.
“It's not like anyone on this team didn't know who he was,” Guy said. “It's fantastic to just be able to play with him, to tell my kids and my grandkids about that. He's a legend.”