If New England Revolution fans were hoping for an immediate impact from former US national team forward Charlie Davies in 2013, they had another thing coming.
Through a combination of bad timing, a roster that was crowded with attacking players and an in-form starting lineup, Davies was limited to just four substitute appearances after joining the Revs on loan in August 2013.
But he didn't consider that a setback. In fact, he was always partially looking ahead to the future.
“I always had it in my mind that  was the season to get ready for,” he told MLSsoccer.com by phone from Florida.
The Manchester, N.H., native and former Boston College player admitted that it was frustrating not being on the field last year, but he was able to use the final three months of the season to get a better understanding of his role in head coach Jay Heaps’ favored 4-3-3 formation.
“I had to play my part,” said Davies, who signed a permanent deal with the Revolution in January. “[I was] introduced to a new position and got a good understanding of how Jay wants that position to be played and at the same time gelling with the team and having them get an understanding of how I play and where I’m most dangerous and how I like to get the ball.”
When asked about Davies’ limited playing time, Heaps noted, “Every game really we were going with the guys we knew really well and the guys that had performed for us for the better part of the season, so it was hard for him to get minutes.”
He added, “It was hard for me to give him minutes, to be honest with you, because we weren’t really sure what we’d get on Saturday.”
According to Davies, the coaching staff helped by being upfront about the situation with Heaps assuring him that he would have an opportunity in 2014. The transfer of Juan Agudelo to Stoke City and the long-term injury to Saer Sene has left an opening at striker that Davies could fill. Davies said that he was told "no positions were secured" for the new season, but that hasn't dampened his hopes for the upcoming campaign.
“If I can hit the ground running and really put a claim to a spot in the starting XI then, you know, start to produce for the team, then confidence comes into it and you settle into the position and make it your own,” he said.
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Davies' preseason has been stalled by a minor calf injury, but he should be ready to train fully when the team makes the trip to Tuscon, Ariz., next week.
“I just hope that this will be a season that I get put back on the map for being the old me – where I was just dangerous at all times that I was on the field," Davies said.