The result certainly soured the occasion, but Charlie Davies was still plenty happy about scoring his first MLS goal since 2011 on Saturday.
Davies netted the opener for the New England Revolution in what was eventually a demoralizing 2-1 road defeat against the New York Red Bulls, giving the veteran forward his first goal at any club since scoring a hat trick for D.C. United on Sept. 10, 2011.
That scoreless run of almost three years ended in the 20th minute, Teal Bunbury sending in a cross from the right side of the box that was deflected by New York center back Ibrahim Sekagya straight into the path of an unmarked Davies at the back post for an easy headed finish.
“I’m overjoyed [and] over the moon to get my first goal in a while,” said Davies, who celebrated the goal with his trademark Stanky Leg celebration. “Now you can play a little bit more freely when you don’t have that pressure getting that first goal.”
After arriving to New England from Danish side Randers FC in August of last year, Davies has slowly worked himself into Jay Heaps' system. Davies appeared in just four games last season.
Earlier this year, Davies was used as high-paced sub in three games, at times looking as if he was shot from a cannon once he hit the pitch. But then he went 10 games without seeing the field before finally return to action with a start against FC Dallas on July 19.
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He has since started at the top of the Revolution's attack in three of their last four matches and was integral in the club's slump-busting win over Colorado last Wednesday, setting up Lee Nguyen in the 10th minute to give New England their first lead and first win in eight matches.
Davies' efforts of late, highlighted by some solid hold-up play, have likely earned him more time in Heaps lineup. Finally opening his account with New England will only strengthen his case. That's something that both Davies and the struggling Revolution welcome.
“It was a great ball from Teal,” said Davies. “I just had to make sure I put it on target. It’s a header too, [and] I’m not the best at headers. I was able to keep it on goal and it was a great start to the game.”