Charlie Davies is reportedly close to signing a deal with DC United. (via dcunited)

Charlie Davies Signs Year-Long Loan With DC United

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DC United's Signing Of Charlie Davies Continues Active Off-Season

Not including players picked in the Super or Supplemental drafts, DC United has already added eight players this off-season. Charlie Davies, who officially joined the team on Wednesday, is merely the latest player to join a team that is coming off one of the worst in MLS history. Among the players DC United has added are MLS veterans Dax McCarty and Josh Wolff, Home Grown Player Ethan White and international import Rodrigo Brasesco. As SB Nation's DC United blog Black and Red United points out, every position on the field has been addressed one way or another.

Just as importantly, they appear to have done all of this without really breaking the bank. Davies is reportedly getting paid about $225,000 in base salary from DC United, meaning he's not costing them a Designated Player spot. Using last season's salaries as a guide, United still appear to have about $400,000 in salary-cap room.

Give credit to coach Ben Olsen. He took over the team last year and United was roundly questioned for giving him the job after first dismissing that possibility. Since being installed, though, he has shown a clear preference for certain kinds of players and has done an admirable job of finding ways to get them.

It's obviously too early to make any grand pronouncements, but with the playoffs expanding to 10 teams this year, it hardly seems crazy to consider United one of the teams capable of making a run. Davies' ability to return to form will play no small part in accomplishing that task. United scored a MLS-record low 21 goals last season. A healthy Davies could realistically add 50 percent to that by himself.

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Charlie Davies In Year - Long Loan Agreement With DC United

It's official: DC United have signed striker Charlie Davies on loan from FC Sochaux for the 2011 season, with a press conference coming at 2 PM ET to announce the deal. United report that Davies underwent the full accoutrement of medical testing to ensure he wasn't hampered by injuries sustained in the horrific car wreck of October 2009. Davies impressed both mentally and physically and the club is thrilled to have him on board.

Due to being in the top spot in the MLS allocation ranking, DC had first dibs on requiring the forward. The terms of the deal had already been negotiated when Davies headed out to United's training camp in Florida, but the club wanted to be absolutely sure Davies was in top condition. With that hurdle out of the way, United fans can look forward to watching Davies as he helps the club rebuild after its dismal run last season. But more than that, fans of both DC and the USA will be thrilled to have a close up look as Davies rebuilds himself, looking to regain his spot in the national side.

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Charlie Davies Could Sign With DC United In Next Few Days

Apparently satisfied that Charlie Davies is fit enough to play in MLS, DC United is expected to finalize a deal with the forward, potentially as soon as the next few days. Steven Goff quotes United coach Ben Olsen as saying, "Everything is playing out right now, so we'll see if it goes down in the next day or two. We're negotiating to see if something can be done."

Goff has been reporting that the deal would be worth about $300,000 a year, a little short of Designated Player money, and that DC United would have the option to buy his contract from Ligue 1 side Sochaux. It's unclear if that financial arrangement is still in place, as recent reports have suggested the deal was not as firm as DC United had initially reported.

Davies played well during his time in Florida with DC United, scoring two goals and adding an assist in one half of play against the Trinidad and Tobago U-20 team. He has accompanied the team back to DC.

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Charlie Davies Has Apparently Satisfied DC United, Deal May Be Close

Charlie Davies scored two goals and had an assist on Saturday against the Trinidad and Tobago U-20 team, which may have been enough to convince DC United that he's worth signing. Steven Goff is reporting that DC United is now ready to move forward with the one-year loan from Ligue 1 side Sochaux, but that some issues remain unresolved.

On Saturday, Davies played just the second half and was paired with Chris Pontius at forward. He made the most of his time, though, assisting on Kurt Morsink's goal in the 68th minute and scoring a goal of his own off an assist from Pontius just a minute later. Davies got the brace in the 75th minute when he controlled the ball at the top of the penalty area, beat two centerback's and put his shot in the upper corner.

Davies has been training with DC United for almost two weeks. Initial reports suggested DC United already had a financial deal in place for Davies if he was deemed fit, but those reports are apparently not true as the sides are still hammering out the agreement. DC United could certainly use someone with Davies' skills, as they scored just 21 goals last year, the lowest season total in MLS history.

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Charlie Davies On DC United: 'There's Only Advantages To Me Being Here'

Charlies Davies sounds like a man who just wants to get an opportunity to play. During his first time meeting the press since joining DC United in Florida for an evaluation, he spoke of focusing only on playing in MLS and his desire to prove that he's physically capable of competing at a high level.

"The only thing I'm thinking about right now is gettin ga chance to play for DC United and to getting back into form," Davies said. "As far as my future, that’s the only thing i’m thinking about right now. I just want the players and coaches to have confidence in me and know that I can turn this thing around and help this team out."

For a player who just about 16 months ago was penciled in by many to be the World Cup starter for the United States and was enjoying a fair amount of success in Ligue 1 as a 23-year-old, that must feel like a significant fall. But maybe it shows a certain maturity, too, and maturity is the thing that Davies has most commonly been accused of lacking in the meantime.

It wasn't just his being out past curfew when that fateful accident occurred on Oct. 13, 2009. It wasn't just the way he seemed to be speaking out of turn when declaring himself fit for the World Cup. It wasn't just when he was arrested during that bizarre speeding incident last October. It was also the way he never seemed to entirely understand why those incidents were upsetting his fans and supporters.

During the Friday conference call, there was no boasting of imminent greatness, no promises of dominating his opponents and wowing his coaches, no intentions of proving detractors wrong. Davies simply talked like someone who is confident in his abilities, but realizes he has show it on the field.

"I feel really good with my speed at the moment," Davies said. "At times, I feel so so fast, I feel great. I’ve taken the necessary strides to get back to where I need to be.

"But you can always improve on every facet of your game. Do I need to improve on certain things? Of course, I haven’t played at a high level for a while. Of course, with work, I think I’ll be a force and back to being a successful striker."

Davies, as has been well documented, has not played a competitive first-team match since his injury. Sochaux, the Ligue 1 team that still owns his contract, notably did not declare him fit for the World Cup (much to his chagrin) and has since only made room for him on the 18-man gameday roster once. It would hardly be shocking if Davies was in Florida railing against Sochaux. Instead, he came off very level-headed about his situation.

"Sochaux knows I will eventually get to where they want me to be," Davies said. "The big problem is there are two strikers ahead of me that have nine goals each and are they fifth in the league in goals. The coach has his hands tied for me to show what I can do. It’s something you can understand. I understand it and have taken it well and have moved on to get into the right situation which i think I’ve found."

Of course, that last part still remains to be seen. DC United coach Ben Olsen sounded optimistic about Davies' potential, but was realistic about what having him in camp means.

"It’s no different than any other trialist," Olsen said. "We will judge him on all the things we look for in players. I have the fortune of knowing some of his intangibles. Those boxes are already checked, as far as his mentality. That’s why he was so successful and got him back to where he is now. We need to evaluate him as a soccer player and where he is now."

There's no question Olsen could use a player with Davies' skills. DC United scored a league-history worst 22 goals last season for all the talent they've added this off-season, none of them are the kind of players you expect to be scoring in bunches.

Davies could very well be that player. While never an amazingly prolific scorer, Davies has found the back of the net plenty during his national team and European career. Just as importantly, when at his best he's a creator whose speed can create all kinds of trouble for opposing defenses. A fully healthy Davies unleashed on MLS defenders could be something to behold.

For all the talk of potential backlash, there really does not seem to be a discernible downside for either party. DC United only needs to sign Davies if they are convinced he's healthy. On Davies' side, the situation is even more obvious.

"There’s not really any disadvantages at this point," Davies said. "For me, it’s an advantage to be getting the match time that I need and to be under the right coach to push me in the right direction. There’s only advantages to me being here, to be in the U.S. being pushed, to reach my lifelong goals."

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Black And Red United: Charlie Davies Was Clever Use Of Allocation

It wasn't so long ago that DC United was the class of MLS. As recently as 2008, they won the U.S. Open Cup and it was just 2007 that they last finished atop the Eastern Conference during the regular season.

But times have been tough. United have missed the playoffs for three years running and last year set a MLS record for goal-scoring futility (22 goals). A lot of the problems can be traced back to an inability to identify talent. Just look at last year's signing of Pablo Hernandez, a player who was brought on loan for about $250,000 a year, made 14 appearances, never scored and was let go at the end of the season.

As Black and Red United's Martin Shatzer points out, maybe the signing of Charlie Davies is a sign that things are turning around. While Davies suiting up for United is not exactly a done deal, the way DC put itself in position to even have that option seems to be a positive sign.

Davies coming to D.C. isn't luck or good fortune. If any other team were at the top of the Allocation list instead of D.C., Davies would probably be staying in France. United sought him out. The innovative approach was that they used Allocation as a tool for acquisition - not just something to keep in their pocket in hopes that some Yank Abroad would decide to return home later this summer.

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Black And Red United: Charlie Davies-To-DC Could Be Good For Both Parties

DC United set a record for scoring futility last season, notching just 22 goals. The next worst team in MLS had 31 goals. So, it should come as little surprise that DC United fans are more than a little intrigued about adding a player who was once considered a future star for the United States National Team.

One of those people who's particularly intrigued is Black and Red United Martin Shatzer. He sees DC's need, as well as the opportunity for Charlie Davies to reset his career and imagines a beautiful relationship.

This could be a great move for everyone involved. United gets the forward that the club has been sorely missing. They’d be solving the weakest link on the roster, and would have to be considered the most improved club in all of MLS going into the 2011 season. Davies would be arriving in a place where he would be embraced and where he could enter the starting lineup immediately. And Sochaux would be unloading the salary of a player who they probably don’t expect to contribute in 2011.

Now, news comes that DC United is meeting with Davies in Florida where he'll undergo a week-long evaluation. Assuming he's capable of playing, this looks like it could very well happen.

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Charlie Davies To Join DC United In Florida For 'Evaluation'

Looks like there's a fair amount of substance to those rumors that Charlie Davies and DC United are negotiating. DC United released a statement saying that the United States striker is joining the team in Florida for a week-long "evaluation period." 

Here's the full statement: "Charlie Davies is expected to join D.C. United in Ft. Lauderdale on Wednesday for a week-long evaluation period, which will include training and game time with the first team and a full medical evaluation by team doctors in DC. Details of the 12-month loan have already been negotiated, but nothing will be official until D.C. United is satisfied Charlie is physically capable of playing at the level required to be successful in MLS. United currently holds the top spot in the League’s allocation ranking and would therefore have first option to acquire Davies."

Davies later reconfirmed that news with a message on Twitter with lots of exclamation points.

I'm very excited to meet up with DC United in Florida tomorrow!! Looking forward to it & can't wait!! Thank you all for the support!!! #DCUless than a minute ago via web

Davies has not played a senior team match for Sochaux this season, and has been playing with their reserves. The closest he came to seeing action was one appearance on the gameday roster on Dec. 18, but did not play.

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DC United, Charlie Davies Reportedly In Serious Talks

DC United is in need of a striker and sits atop the MLS allocation order. Charlie Davies could probably use a change of scenery. According to a report in the Washington Post, this could all add up to Davies coming to MLS, perhaps within days. Davies is currently playing for French side Sochaux where he has yet to make a senior team appearance since being badly hurt in a fatal car accident that forced him to miss this year's World Cup.

If a deal is reached, Davies, 24, would join the MLS team on a 12-month loan from Sochaux and report to training camp in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., as early as this week. One source believes a decision is likely in the next 24 to 48 hours.

Prior to Davies' injury, he was considered one of the top strikers in the United States talent pool. The then 23-year-old was coming off a season in which he scored two goals in eight Ligue 1 matches for Sochaux and had scored a goal for the U.S. at Mexico's Estadio Azteca. He had been a favorite to make the U.S. World Cup team where he would have likely been paired with Jozy Altidore.

A fatal car accident in October, in which he was seriously injured, changed all of that. He suffered several broken bones and a lacerated bladder and needed months of rehabilitation before even returning the training. He has since made one gameday roster, but has mostly been playing with the Sochaux reserves. Sochaux has reportedly been looking to loan him out, but had said they were unlikely to send him to MLS.

MLS, as well as several Scandinavian leagues, are among those that still have open transfer windows. Although Ligue 1's transfer window is closed that would not stop them from loaning or transferring a player out of the league.

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