Charlie Davies

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PL friendlies: Pedro scores elegant goal; CONCACAF stars Pulisic, Davies deliver

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It was a day for the stars of CONCACAF, with USMNT wizard Christian Pulisic and Canadian playmaker Alphonso Davies both having fine days for Chelsea and Bayern Munich, respectively.

[ MORE: USMNT backs USWNT ]

It was also a day short on defense, with nary a clean sheet to be found as Spurs, Arsenal, Liverpool, and Chelsea got on the board while conceding as well.

Tottenham Hotspur 2-2 (6-5 on pens.) Bayern Munich

Spurs have won the Audi Cup despite the best efforts of Canadian phenom Alphonso Davies, who scored what the kids call “a banger” to get the match to extra time.

Fellow young talent Jann Fiete-Arp also scored as Bayern erased a 2-0 deficit produced by Christian Eriksen and Erik Lamela (Harry Kane and Georges-Kevin Nkoudou provided the assists.

Angers 1-1 Arsenal

Reiss Nelson pasted a Eddie Nketiah rebound home to give Arsenal a draw in France, where Farid El Malali had put Angers in front.

Liverpool 3-1 Lyon

A win is a win, even a sloppy one. The reigning Champions League winners got a nice victory in Geneva against good Ligue 1 opposition, with Harry Wilson and Roberto Firmino joining an own goal on the Liverpool side of the ledger.

The Reds went behind 1-0 when Alisson dropped a cross and was forced to concede a penalty.

Liverpool won for the first time in five friendlies. It’s now five matches without a clean sheet for the Reds, who were oh-so-stingy last season.

Red Bull Salzburg 3-5 Chelsea

Pulisic had a wonderful day, scoring two goals and winning a penalty for a third in the first half-hour of the match. Ross Barkley had a goal and an assist, while Pedro and Michy Batshuayi also scored in a defense-starved match.

Pedro’s goal was simply wonderful, the hit of the day on an afternoon with several beauties.

USMNT forward Charlie Davies retires from soccer at 31

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American forward Charlie Davies, whose career was derailed by a car crash in 2009, is retiring from soccer at age 31.

[ PL PLAYBACK: London’s burning ]

Davies scored four goals in 17 appearances for the U.S. before he was a passenger in a car crash on Oct. 13, 2009 that killed another passenger and left him with two broken bones in his right leg, a dislocated left elbow, a ruptured bladder, bleeding on the brain and broken bones in his nose, forehead and eye socket. The driver was found to be drunk and pleaded guilty to involuntary manslaughter.

Loaned from the French club Sochaux to Major League Soccer’s D.C. United, Davies returned to first-team soccer on March 19, 2011, with a pair of goals against Columbus. He went back to Sochaux but played just two matches in 2011-12, then moved to Denmark’s Randers for 2012-13 and the New England Revolution from 2013-15.

He spent the last two seasons with the Philadelphia Union, failing to score in 11 league matches. Davies had 25 goals in 101 MLS matches but never regained the pace he showed with the national team. His most significant goal was a go-ahead strike for the U.S. in a 2-1 loss at Mexico in a World Cup qualifier in August 2009.

Davis was diagnosed with liposarcoma in the spring of 2016 and said that summer it was in remission.

In a video statement on his Twitter account Friday, Davies says “I’ve loved every second of my time on the field, even the desperate lows of injury and cancer that eventually made the highs all that much sweeter.”

MLS: Atlanta seeking third DP, Davies re-signs with Union and more

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The MLS SuperDraft is right around the corner as 2017 approaches, but other offseason moves are being made by teams, including Atlanta’s search for a third Designated Player.

[ FOLLOW: All of PST’s MLS coverage ]

Atlanta United has already made several splashes ahead of its entrance into MLS next season, including the additions of DPs Miguel Almiron and Hector Villalba as well as former Premier League attacker Kenwyne Jones, but the club is still actively seeking another star to complete its inaugural roster.

[ MORE: Donovan has offers from two MLS teams, including RSL ]

Goal USA is reporting that the team has turned its attention to Argentina and Mexico as the Eastern Conference side seeks its third DP. Oscar Romero was previously a strong link to the club, however, his recent move to Shanghai SIPG of the Chinese Super League halted Atlanta’s chances of acquiring the Paraguayan.


Staying in the Eastern Conference, the Philadelphia Union announced on Friday that the club has re-signed striker Charlie Davies to a one-year deal after joining the team in 2016.

Davies, 30, missed a portion of last season after battling cancer, but came back to the New England Revolution before being traded to the Union during the campaign. The forward scored one goal and added an assist in 17 combined appearances for both the Revolution and Union a season ago.


According to Fox Sports Netherlands, Real Salt Lake and FC Groningen have agreed to terms on the transfer of Albert Rusnak to MLS.

The 22-year-old reportedly still has to agree to personal terms before officially completing the move to RSL.

Since joining the Dutch side in 2014, Rusnak has scored nine goals in all competitions for Groningen. Rusnak was formerly a Manchester City academy product but never appeared in a senior team match for the Premier League side.

New England’s Davies reveals cancer fight, remission

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New England Revolution forward Charlie Davies is in remission after being treated for liposarcoma this Spring.

The 30-year-old striker took some time off from the team this Spring, and revealed his battle on Saturday.

[ MORE: Gameiro joins new club ]

According to the Liddy Shriver Sarcoma Initiative, “Liposarcoma is a rare cancer of connective tissues that resemble fat cells under a microscope. It accounts for up to 18% of all soft tissue sarcomas. Liposarcoma can occur in almost any part of the body, but more than half of liposarcoma cases involve the thigh, and up to a third involve the abdominal cavity.”

Davies has had his fair share of obstacles to overcome, having been involved in a massive car accident in 2009 that lacerated his bladder, left bleeding on the brain and broke several bones.

He missed six months for then-club Sochaux, and struggled to regain the form that saw him score four goals in 17 caps for the USMNT. He enjoyed a renaissance last summer with 10 goals for the Revolution.

From a release:

“Today, New England Revolution forward Charlie Davies shared that earlier this spring he was diagnosed and treated for liposarcoma and that he is now in remission. It was important for Charlie to concentrate on his family and treatment during the past few weeks and the club honored his wish for privacy. The New England Revolution will continue to support him through full recovery and are looking forward to seeing him back out on the pitch. Any fans who wish to share support should tweet or tag messages to Charlie at @CharlieDavies9 or use the hashtag #CD9.”

All our best to CD9 and his family, who braved two children born three months premature.

Fake GM Making Fake MLS Trades: Fixing the NE Revs’ defense

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The New England Revolution have a serious defensive problem, which I wrote about here and here on consecutive weeks. The problem? They have one first-team center back, Jose Goncalves, on their roster. That’s quite a problem.

[ FOLLOW: All of PST’s MLS coverage ]

If they hope to make any noise in this year’s playoffs, it must be addressed. So, I, a Fake MLS General Manager, am here to present to you (and the Revs) a few Fake MLS Trades.

The assets: Juan Agudelo and Charlie Davies — With the arrival of Kei Kamara, who’ll start 90 percent of the season’s remaining games at center forward, there’s just not enough minutes to go around for everyone else — particularly Davies, who can only play through the middle; at least Agudelo can play wide left, though it’s not his best position.

(Reminder: The maximum cap charge for a Designated Player contract is $457,500. Anything above that number doesn’t count toward a team’s salary cap.)

Simple and practical

Charlie Davies to New York Red Bulls; Damien Perrinelle, or Ronald Zubar and allocation money to New England Revolution

The numbers: Davies – $108,000 base salary; Perrinelle – $140,000 base salary; Zubar – $240,000 base salary

The rationale: Depending on how the Red Bulls view Perrinelle following his torn ACL during last year’s playoffs, he might or might not be available. If available, Perrinelle is the preferred option (assuming health), hence the inclusion of allocation money if it’s Zubar heading the other way. Davies wouldn’t be walking into a starting job — that still belongs to Bradley Wright-Phillips — but he’d at least be the first forward off the bench, whereas he’s third in the pecking order in New England.


Arguably impractical

Juan Agudelo to Orlando City SC; Antonio Nocerino and allocation money to LA Galaxy (Orlando City also send allcation money to New England Revolution); Leonardo and 2017 first-round SuperDraft Pick to New England Revolution

The numbers: Agudelo – $425,000 base salary; Nocerino – $600,000 base salary; Leonardo – $160,000 base salary

The rationale: First of all, are three-team trades legal in MLS? I can’t recall ever seeing one, but for the purpose of this exercise, let’s say they’re standard operating practice.

The allocation money that Orlando sends out is their way of saying, “we messed up,” by signing Nocerino to a DP-sized contract, which they get out from under for the duration of the deal, for a pair of one-time fees; it also helps to offset the $290,000 difference between Nocerino and Leonardo’s cap charges. Leonardo isn’t the most stable — or even healthy — player in MLS, but he’s a decent veteran fix for this season, and a replacement-level third center back next year, plus the flexibility of allocation money and an extra pick in next year’s draft — perhaps to be used on a center back.

[ MORE: Previewing the rest of the MLS weekend ]


Let’s shake up the league

Juan Agudelo to FC Dallas; Victor Ulloa and allocation money to Sporting Kansas City; Matt Besler to New England Revolution

The numbers: Agudelo – $425,000 base salary; Ulloa – $130,000 base salary; Besler – $700,000 base salary

The rationale: Mostly I just think Oscar Pareja should be the Agudelo whisperer, because that would be great for the U.S. national team, and FCD, of course. Ulloa would (finally) give Sporting KC a fourth central midfielder capable of forcing his way into their three-man rotation, and they get out from under a DP cap charge for a center back who’s lost his starting job to Lawrence Olum.

The problem: Besler has a no-trade clause in the DP contract he signed following the 2014 World Cup. Chances are, he’s not agreeing to a trade that sends him to Foxborough. Perhaps another raise (what’s a little more money beyond his maxed-out cap charge?) and a fresh start away from Peter Vermes would be enough to convince him otherwise.


Conclusion: The market for MLS-experienced center backs isn’t great — there’s simply not a lot of great defenders around right now, let alone as spare parts (hence the bevy of three-team trades) — which makes trading an asset as valuable as Agudelo or Davies — again, their best assets, by a mile — rather tricky.