The news that Sochaux striker Charlie Davies would join D.C. United's training camp in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida, for a week-long evaluation period has been greeted with a great deal of hoopla. If the club's technical and medical team are satisfied with the still-rehabilitating US international's fitness and ability, they would sign him to a 12-month loan that has already been negotiated.
Here, MLSsoccer.com editors Simon Borg and Matthew Doyle discuss the possible move.
BORG: First of all, how interesting would it be for Davies to make his MLS debut in the same city where his career almost ended after a 2009 car accident? Saying that, fans are already losing their minds about the possibility here.
DOYLE: That's to the good. CD9 captured imaginations and created real excitement, and the fans are happy to see him on the brink of a return to health. If that happens in MLS, even better.
BORG: Fans need to stay calm and set those expectations realistically. Davies hasn't been able to get into Sochaux's first squad and he's still on the comeback road from a horrific accident. D.C. United supporters: Don't expect a savior. And the club's got it right to start with a testing period.
DOYLE: Sure, there are a lot of "ifs" around this move, but there a ton of questions marks out there right now about D.C. United anyway after their last-place season last year. This is a team that needs to take some chances if they want to recapture their glory days.
Don't forget, Davies would be playing for a guy in manager Ben Olsen, who knows a thing or two about recovering from major injuries. If Davies is even 90 percent of the player he once was, he can among the best strikers in the league. Real upside here. But patience will obviously be key.
[inline_node:325205]BORG: One possible issue is if Davies could become a distraction for a club that is trying to regroup. Part of me wonders if it would have been better for him to continue to work in anonymity at Sochaux.
On the MLS stage and with the cult following of US national team fans, I could see things getting caught up in all the hype. Not to mention that there will be drama surrounding every one of Bob Bradley’s national team roster announcements.
DOYLE: Right, but remember: United have a good history of dealing with "distractions" pretty well. Think Freddy Adu or even Marco Etcheverry, both of whom won titles with DC. They almost seem to thrive on it. Olsen was there for a lot of that time, won a few Cups and a few Shields, and should be able to handle whatever comes of this.
As for the fans clamoring for Davies to be called up every time Bradley convenes a camp, when was the last time DC had a player like that? Whether it works out with Davies or not, they need guys like that.