FOXBOROUGH, Mass. – At 1-9-1 in their last 11 games, there has not been a whole lot trending in a positive direction for the New England Revolution of late, except for the play of Charlie Davies.
In starting the Revolution's last three matches, Davies has notched a goal or an assist each time, including scoring the opening goal in Saturday's 1-1 draw with the Portland Timbers as part of an active night.
It was the type of performance that eluded Davies during many of his early days with the club, but one his New England teammates know they need to match in order to get back into a playoff position in the Eastern Conference.
“We have to start playing like Charlie has, with a chip on his shoulder,” said Darrius Barnes.
A New Hampshire native and Boston College alum, Davies had gone unused in 10 straight matches for his local club before starting in four of the Revs' last five. He earned a nod against FC Dallas on July 19, his first start in a New England kit, and two games later he fed Lee Nguyen for a goal that spaked a win over Vancouver.
“Charlie has been playing really well," midfielder Kelyn Rowe said. "He’s holding the ball well, winning balls, working hard, and he’s in the right spot at the right time. All of these positive attributes are helping him finish balls.”
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In the Revolution's last two matches, Davies gave the club a 1-0 lead each time, scoring his first two goals since he joined the club last August. Davies may never return to the exact form that earned him 17 caps with the US national team, but New England are seeing signs of what they knew he was capable of when they acquired him on loan last season.
On Saturday Davies logged a season-high 75 minutes, willfully succumbing to the coaching staff’s desire to not overextend their hottest offensive weapon while he works towards a full 90 minutes of fitness.
“I think Jay [Heaps, head coach] has been extremely smart,” said Davies. “You don’t just want to throw me in there and play 90 minutes after 90 minutes and then end up getting injured. I’m starting to feel fit, and hopefully I can continue with this goalscoring form.”