Charlie Davies on his youth soccer, his recovery, and his resurgence

Author: Jon Denham

“I remember it like it was yesterday.” 

Those were Charlie Davies’ words when recalling his first full practice with Sochaux in the spring of 2010.  Just five months prior to that training session he was limited to his hospital room in Washington, D.C. 

Eastern France was a mix of heaven and hell that first day back.  

Going into the stadium I was so excited,” Davies says. “I feel like, ‘OK, I’m coming back, the World Cup is in a month and a half...I have a good chance if I can start now and have a good practice.’

Before he takes another breath to continue his story, he also vividly recalls the reality of what he was up against. 

I knew that my body was not where it needed to be. I knew my mind was not where it needed to be. It felt like I was playing soccer for the first time,” the Massachusetts native says. “It was extremely, extremely difficult.

It was not his first time playing soccer, though. His first practices were back in Massachusetts, some 3,500 miles away from Sochaux – and he can recall those days pretty easily, too. 

“Ever since I was six years old I was fully committed to soccer,” Davies admits. “My father (Kofi Davies) was the main reason for that. He pushed me more than anybody has ever pushed me in my life. My commitment has never wavered. From each year to each season I always worked the hardest that I could.”

Six-year-old Charlie Davies had started down the same path that many other soccer players start down. Then, just two days before his eighth birthday, he was sitting at Foxboro Stadium taking in a 1994 FIFA World Cup group stage game. That day it was Bolivia against South Korea. It ended in a 0-0 draw, but that didn’t matter to Davies. He had seen enough. 

“It was my first professional soccer game,” he says. “I realized at that point soccer is what I wanted to do.”

And so to practices he went. And those practices led to games, those games to seasons. 

I played other sports…but throughout it all soccer was my main focus,” Davies declares. “For me it was never a question of what my main goal was – which was to be a professional soccer player. Every year, every season I was working towards making that dream come true.

A dream that big requires a lot of time and effort. To finish reading Charlie Davies story and his advice to young aspiring players, download Issue 3 of Amplified Soccer Athlete magazine.