A second chance?


In October 2009, Charlie Davies had the world at his feet.

Davies, now 24, turned in a breakout performance in the Confederations Cup during the summer and then followed that up with a goal for the United States at Azteca Stadium in Mexico – making him only the fourth American to find the back of the net at the Mexican national stadium.

He was also turning heads at Sochaux, his club team in France.

Then, on Oct. 13, 2009, his life changed forever.

It was the night before a U.S. national team qualifier against Costa Rica in Washington. He was a passenger in a SUV that lost control on the George Washington Parkway at 3:15 a.m. That vehicle was torn in two and a 22-year-old woman lost her life. Davies suffered a lacerated bladder, fractured right tibia and femur, a fractured elbow, facial injuries and bleeding on the brain.

He has missed every match for club and country since then, trying to rehab and get back in the sort of shape one needs to play a sport at the highest level.

Finally, thanks to a loan offer from Sochaux to MLS’ D.C. United, Davies may finally get the chance to get back on the pitch.

He has to prove that he’s healthy, and that he’s ready to resume what was once a promising career.

“I think the whole time I knew I would get back,” Davies said. “You have to have that confidence that you’re going to get back. Otherwise, I don’t think you have a chance with the injuries that I had.”

United coach Ben Olsen is cautiously optimistic.

“We’re all rooting for Charlie. He’s come a long way from a horrific accident, and I think we’re all hoping for the best,” Olsen said. “But we’ve got to be realistic in our job and figure out if he’s right for this club at this time.”

Now, there are those who will point out that Davies was in a car several hours past curfew the night before a World Cup qualifier the night he was hurt. And those people are right.

But, in a world lacking in perfection, it’s hard to deny someone who has made a mistake and worked hard to overcome it the chance to do just that.

I’m pulling for him.

Not just because we need a forward for the 2014 World Cup in Brazil, but because everybody deserves a second chance.

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