Former USMNT forward Charlie Davies announces retirement
On Friday, former U.S. Men’s National Team forward Charlie Davies announced his retirement with a heart-felt video message on his Twitter account.
“After careful thought and with a very heavy heart, I’ve decided to retire from playing professional soccer,” Davies said. “Ever since I was six years old, I dreamed of becoming a professional soccer player and it has been so much more than I ever could have imagined.”
Born in Manchester, N.H., the speedy striker played 11 professional seasons in Sweden, France, Denmark and Major League Soccer, while also recording 17 caps and four goals for the U.S. Men’s National Team.
A member of the 2008 U.S. Olympic Team, Davies hit his stride with the MNT the following year when he was a key piece of the USA side that ran to the 2009 FIFA Confederations Cup Final. The young forward partnered well with Jozy Altidore during the tournament and scored the opening goal in the MNT’s 3-0 win against Egypt that pushed them through to the knockout phase, setting the stage for the historic 2-0 victory against then No-1 ranked Spain in the semifinal.
Later that summer, Davies gave U.S. fans another great memory, tallying the opening goal of the World Cup Qualifier against Mexico at Estadio Azteca. The ninth-minute strike made Davies just the fourth MNT player to score at the historic venue and first to give the U.S. a lead at Azteca.
A sure bet to make the USA’s 2010 FIFA World Cup roster, Davies’ career took a devastating turn when he was involved in a car accident on Oct. 13, 2009 in Washington, D.C. The accident claimed the life of one of the vehicles other passengers, while Davies experienced severe career-threatening injuries, among them a lacerated bladder, fractured right tibia and femur, a fractured elbow, multiple facial fractures, and bleeding on the brain.
Uncertain whether he could return to the field, Davies nonetheless persevered and his months of therapy and rehab paid off. While the injuries effectively ended his National Team career, Davies did make it back on to the field, finding good form while on loan for D.C. United in 2011. After time playing with Randers in Denmark, he made a permanent return stateside, joining New England Revolution on a permanent basis in 2014.
While there, Davies was forced to overcome another huge obstacle when he was diagnosed with a rare form of cancer known as Liposarcoma in the early months of 2016. Davies revealed the diagnosis that summer and announced that he was in remission.
Soon after, he was traded to the Philadelphia Union where he played the final 18 months of his career.
“I’ve loved every second of my time on the field,” Davies continued in his statement, “even the desperate lows of injury and cancer that have made the highs all that much sweeter. I’ve loved the friendships, the competition and I’ve loved all the amazing people on both sides of the fence.”
So what’s next for Charlie? While the specifics are unclear, he’s adamant that his future still lies in the game.
“When some people retire, they say, “I’m out,” but honestly, when it comes to American soccer, I’ve never been more in. I love this, I live it and you’re going to see me get involved in the game in ways I haven’t had the chance to before because I was too busy trying to score goals.”
As he has proved time and time again, there’s no counting Charlie out …