After what was seemingly a very long wait, the worst-kept secret in DC over the past week was confirmed when Charlie Davies was officially signed today by D.C. United on a one-year loan from his team FC Sochaux in France. Davies had to go through ten days of trials for Head Coach Ben Olsen and the rest of the front office staff before United signed off on the deal this morning. United has the option to buy out his contract from Sochaux on December 1st later this year.
“We are really pleased to have concluded a deal that will bring Charlie to United,” said General Manager Dave Kasper. “Charlie spent 10 days with us in our first pre-season camp and underwent a full battery of physical and medical testing. He simply looks terrific. Coming in, we weren’t sure where he would be, but he’s great physically, has impressed with his mental approach and we’re excited to see him on the field with us this season.”
Davies’ story to get to United is well chronicled and the road to get to United seems like the perfect fit, both for Davies and United who clearly need someone to start scoring goals. “Charlie Davies is going to be a great addition to this club,” said United Head Coach Ben Olsen. “He is a player that can make a difference, and we are looking forward to seeing him contribute to the Black-and-Red.” Taking on Davies is not without inherent risk however. While he seems to be in great physical condition and he and the club are saying all the right things, one has to wonder how this could all backfire if Davies’ can’t recapture that magic that saw him spring onto the National Team in 2009 and give hope to all U.S. Soccer fans that they do indeed have a threat up top to score goals on the international level.
First thing’s first though, let’s get Davies into game shape and then see what is sown from his preseason training. “I know the preseason competition hasn’t been the highest level, but it was enough for me to see that he can help this team. We still have time to get him and the rest of the team ready for the season. It’s important now to build confidence amongst the squad and we are ready to go out to California and get a few matches in”, said Olsen after the press conference.
United will now fly out to California and have a two-week stay there before heading back to the East Coast to take part in the Carolina Cup March 5-12th in which they will take on the Charleston Battery, Toronto FC and the Chicago Fire before they open up their season at home vs the Columbus Crew on Saturday, March 19th at 7:30 pm
- Davies contract is believed to be a base salary of $180,000 with many incentive clauses that could total around $300,000 should they be met.
- United used their top spot in the allocation order to select Davies. The allocation draft is a mechanism to bring National Team pool players back to MLS. The draft order goes in reverse direction of where your team finished the previous season. Since Vancouver and Portland were expansion teams, they had picks before United. Vancouver selected defender Jay DeMerit and Portland selected forward Kenny Cooper. United was next in line.
- United earlier this week opted out of three seperate weighted lotteries for Cody Arnoux (Real Salt Lake), Chris Argosor (Philadelphia Union) and Kory Veeder (Columbus Crew). That draft had nothing to do with United’s allocation order