FOXBOROUGH, Mass. – Charlie Davies knew he would probably take the field for the first time as a New England Revolution player on Saturday night. It didn't diminish the significance of the moment when he finally stepped on the field, though.
“Once you get the actual 'You’re going in,' [it is] just sheer excitement,” Davies told MLSsoccer after the match. “I’m so happy to be back. I’m so happy to be part of this team and this organization that I’ve grown up watching and it’s an exciting time.”
Davies replaced Chad Barrett for the final 11 minutes of the 2-0 victory over Chicago on Saturday night. The brief appearance marked his first foray into a competitive match in several months and provided him with an opportunity to ease himself back into the fray with the Fire pushing forward for an equalizer in the late stages.
“I was thinking to myself, ‘This is a perfect time to come on. They're going to be pushing forward and they’re going to leave so much space open,’ and they did,” Davies said. “I was just unlucky not to finish my chances, but they'll come. As a striker, it has to go in and out if it doesn't work out for you.”
The former US international forward did not cut himself any slack in the wake of his first match. He expressed displeasure with his own play and noted the entire exercise provided him with a chance to “get the junk out of my system” before the appearances and the matches increase in importance.
It may prove a bit harsh to judge a brief cameo to such high standards, but Davies remains fixed on the tasks ahead. He wants to earn a regular place in the starting XI, propel his new team to the playoffs and show his appreciation for his return to New England by performing well over the next couple of months.
“I don’t feel pressure from anyone else except for myself,” Davies said. “I put all the pressure on myself. I’ve always done that. I’ve kind of come in here with the idea of playing a lot, helping this team win and putting all the pressure on myself to be the guy that the team can lean on and depend on to grind out results, to make it happen, to get this team to the playoffs.
"We’ll see how each game goes. Step by step, I think I’ll get there.”