FOXBOROUGH, Mass. – By all accounts, Boston College alumnus Charlie Davies, who joined the Revolution via loan from Randers FC last week, is happy to be back in the Commonwealth. But there’s at least one person who’s even happier about it.
The way Davies tells it, his wife Nina, whom he met while attending classes at Chestnut Hill, was especially thrilled to return to the area after her husband had spent the bulk of the past six years playing in Europe.
“She’s ecstatic,” Davies said after training on Wednesday. “She gets to be around her friends and her family, so I’m happy because she’s so happy. And when you’re happy, you play well.”
Davies, 27, has been all smiles since partaking in his first Revolution training session on Tuesday. And even though he never hit his stride with Randers (0 goals in 23 games), Davies believes that a change in scenery -- a familiar one, at that -- could unlock his potential as playmaker.
“I think it’s special to be playing as a professional athlete in your hometown, or at least in your area,” Davies said. “So (Nina and I) both excited. I think it’s a perfect spot for me to excel.”
The Revolution front office and coaching staff are hoping for the same. The club currently sits three points below the fifth and final playoff spot, and could use all the firepower they can get down the stretch -- and not a moment too soon, especially with Juan Agudelo on the mend and Dimitry Imbongo suspended for Saturday’s match.
Fortunately for the coaching staff, Davies’ fitness isn’t an issue. Prior to his arrival, he trained regularly with Randers during their preseason, so it is not outside the realm that he could make his debut in Saturday’s clash against Chicago.
“We’re going day-by-day with Charlie,” Heaps said after Wednesday’s training. “It’s the second day we’ve had him (in training), but I think he’s definitely fit.”
The question, of course, is how Heaps intends to utilize the dynamic Davies. Although a center forward by trade, Davies could see playing time on the flank, where he can use his speed and savvy to stretch a defense in Heaps’ 4-3-3/4-1-4-1 formation.
But wherever he plays, Davies clearly has the heart of a striker, as evidenced by his new number -- 99 -- which he called “the new 9.”
“I thought it was a cool number to have,” Davies said with a smile. “I mean, it’s my favorite number twice, so why not?”
The opportunity presented to the kid from Manchester, N.H. is a “special” one, according to Davies. As child, he was one of many faces in the crowd at Gillette Stadium and, prior to that, the now-demolished Foxboro Stadium. He cheered on the likes of Joe-Max Moore, Walter Zenga, and even the man who signed him -- general manager Mike Burns, who played for the Revolution from 1996-2000.
“It’s still a little surreal,” Davies said. “It still hasn’t hit me that I’m playing professional soccer at home, and the text messages and phone calls keep pouring in from long-lost friends. But it’s great to be back.”
Now, the 27-year-old takes center stage in front of that same crowd, hoping to steer the club he once rooted for to their first postseason appearance in four years.
“It’s like a childhood dream to come here and play for the Revolution at Gillette Stadium, so I’m just looking forward to it,” Davies said. “I think my experience, as well as my skill set, will really help this team going forward.”