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The good, bad of New England addition Charlie Davies

Charlie Davies

D.C. United’s Charlie Davies walks of the field at the end of an MLS soccer game against the Portland Timbers, Wednesday, Oct. 19, 2011, in Washington. The game ended in a 1-1 tie. Davies is suing the owners of a Washington nightclub and the drink company Red Bull for $20 million, claiming they are responsible for a fatal car crash that ended the MLS player’s hopes of joining the 2010 U.S. World Cup team. (AP Photo/Luis M. Alvarez)


There is some promise to Charlie Davies’ arrival in Gillette Stadium, where the former U.S. international will try to boost the Revolution’s playoff push over the final 11 regular season rounds.

But the “promise” may not be what you think.

Davies will not be a difference maker Jay Heaps’ team – not in the way everyone remembers the talented young striker of before, the guy who was a game-changer back in 2009, blessed with speed, instincts and clinical finishing.

Davies will not be in Kansas City tonight as the Revs visit Peter Vermes’ side at Sporting Park; he is expected to report early next week.

When he does arrive into New England, what kind of player will the Revs find? For that, let’s start here: he has not scored a first-team goal since 2011 – and that 2011 campaign was not exactly what it might seem.

Yes, Davies scored 11 goals, which is a respectable total on its face. But four were on penalty kicks – some of highly dubious creation. (Davies quickly earned a reputation as a diver, and losing the benefit of the doubt hurt himself and D.C. United later in the season.) Meanwhile, some of the goals were simple finishes off the good work of Chris Pontius and Dwayne De Rosario. So, there’s that.

By the end of the season, people paying attention could see the truth, that too much of Davies’ explosive speed was gone, taken in that awful automobile accident back in the fall of 2009. Late in the season, as United pushed desperately for a playoff spot, Davies was more or less out of the picture, a peripheral figure mostly stuck on Ben Olsen’s bench.

Since then, his time at Randers has produce precious little: No goals. No regular spot in the lineup. Nothing much to see here, really.

So anyone who sees Davies as “the answer,” is ignoring all the evidence. On the other hand …

We may finally have reached the point where everyone sees Davies for what he is: a cautionary tale and a story of misfortune, some borne of his own poor choices and some just down to grim fate. Perhaps now people will better manage their expectations.

If Davies can come into Gillette and simply play a role, if he can score a couple of goals down the stretch, then his loan to MLS is a success. If he strikes 3-4 times down the stretch, credit the Revs with a stroke of genius on this one.

Since expectations seem contained, and since this is just a loan deal, there really is no risk on this one.