COMMERCE CITY, Colo. – Two weeks ago, Colorado Rapids midfielder Davy Armstrong faced the daunting prospect of having his career cut short at the tender age of 20.
But last Friday, Armstrong was back out on the practice field, having been cleared to practice again after a possible seizure sidelined the Rapids’ first-ever Homegrown signee for several weeks.
On Sept. 8, Armstrong said he felt “light-headed” while away from the Rapids’ facilities and went to the hospital the next day, where he was told he’d suffered a possible seizure. Armstrong was also told that the injury could be career-threatening.
But the Aurora, Colo., native was then told by a second doctor that he had not suffered a seizure and was subsequently fully cleared to practice again just last week, drawing a huge sigh of relief from the Denver Post’s 2008 Colorado High School Player of the Year.
“It’s a new outlook on life,” Armstrong told MLSsoccer.com. “I’m just really happy. [I’ve] got to thank the man upstairs for that.”
Armstrong, who turned down a scholarship to the University of Washington to sign with the Rapids in August 2010, faced a potentially career-threatening condition only two years into his professional career. But after a scary wait, Armstrong has been gifted a second chance to play again, a new start that Colorado head coach Oscar Pareja is urging Armstrong to use to his advantage.
“If I put myself in his shoes, it’s another opportunity to do what I love, because sometimes we take it for granted that we’re going to be healthy,” Pareja said. “And the same with the players, sometimes we take it for granted, we have it there, and then you hear you might not have it any longer. But it’s good. I think it’s going to be a second breath for him and we’re happy to have him back.”
Now, Armstrong can focus on more routine day-to-day tasks, such as working his way up Pareja’s depth chart. He has yet to appear in an MLS game in his two years with the Rapids.
“My fitness isn’t there yet, so I’ve got to keep working on that,” Armstrong said. “My technique can always get better. There’s always stuff to work on. So of course I’m just going to just work as hard as I can for these last few weeks.”
Chris Bianchi covers the Colorado Rapids for MLSsoccer.com.