photo by Hugo Ivan Muñoz/D.C. United
By FRANCO PANIZO
FT. LAUDERDALE, Fla. – Charlie Davies' week-long trial with D.C. United is officially underway.
Following an intra-squad scrimmage on Friday, and with a several members of the media on hand, Davies touched on topics ranging from how he feels currently to his situation with Sochaux.
Head coach Ben Olsen and teammates Bill Hamid and Santino Quaranta also talked about Davies' impact on the team, their expectations for him and how he looked in the intra-squad scrimmage.
If you wish to catch a glimpse of Davies in action, here's a video courtesy of D.C. United from the squad's intra-squad scrimmage. There are also some more quotes from and about Davies from Friday's training after the jump:
On how he currently feels
"I've come a long way. It finally feels good to feel physically right. At this point, at this stage, I feel like I've done everything I needed to do to get back to where I need to be to be successful. So now it's about playing matches and getting match fit and progressing with my confidence and I think I'm on the right path."
On the level of competition in the scrimmage
"I felt the level of competition was pretty high. I didn't know what to expect coming here and once I got here, I'm pretty happy with the level of play here, and I think that the team is actually really good."
On his contract status and situation with FC Sochaux
"I have two-and-a-half years left, so it's quite a bit of time. For me, I came there and proved to the fans, to my teammates, to my coaches that I'm a player that can be a big player in that league. After this accident, I think I started training too early and they really saw how far I've come. At the moment, we have two strikers who both are at nine goals a piece in the league and doing extremely well. For me, I'm not going to get the minutes I need to really progress and get to where I need to be. I need to be playing at least 70 minutes, 80 minutes at a high level and in order to do that, I had to leave."
On whether or not he thinks he can go back to Sochaux
"It's really open at this point. It's not like I'm closing the door on my time at my Sochaux. I think everyone knows that I need to progress a little bit confidence wise and mentally, and I think once I get right, the options are open. Maybe I return, maybe I stay. You never know."
On how it is to play under Ben Olsen
"It's great. It's a win-win situation. I've also had a chance to play with him, so he knows exactly where I was and what I need to do to get back to where I was, and of course, he understands it, he gets it. He's been there, he's played. I think having a coach like that and having a coach to support you can only get you back to where you want to be."
On if making the U.S. team for the Gold Cup is still one of his goals
"Of course. Any chance you get to play with the national team, it's definitely a goal of mine. The first goal of course is to play, to be with D.C. United and obviously to be successful and play well."
"We're all rooting for Charlie. He's come a long way from a horrific accident, and we're all hoping for the best. But we have to be realistic in our job and figure out if he's right for this club at this time. There is no question Charlie will be back, whether or not it's now, three months from now, six months from now. That's what we're here to find out."
How he describes Charlie at his best
"The one thing that always stood out with Charlie to me, besides the speed and besides his knack for scoring goals, is he's just a competitor. He's got that wrestling background and those guys are pretty competitive guys. That's what I love about Charlie and always admired about him, and you see it already coming back. He's a competitor and that's why he's fought so hard to get back to where he is."
How he looked in the intra-squad scrimmage compared to before
"It's a tough question because it's just one day. It's Charlie. We're happy to have him here and we think he can help. He looked fine to me, and going forward I think he'll help us."
"Just watching him, he came off the flight and he had a training session yesterday, and he did some finishing. Just watching him put the ball in the net, you can tell he still has what he has. Charlie is a special player and a good guy, so obviously he's going to do wonders on the field for us."