WASHINGTON — The Charlie Davies comeback story took a fairy tale turn Saturday evening.
Playing in a competitive match for the first time since the October 2009 car crash, Davies scored two goals, leading D.C. United to a 3-1 win.
WATCH: D.C. 3, Columbus 1
“He deserves every ounce of credit coming back and getting two goals,” head coach Ben Olsen said after the game.
Davies entered in the 56th minute to an already fired-up D.C. United crowd. Josh Wolff had just scored to give United the lead when Davies came on as a replacement for Joseph Ngwenya, who had picked up a knock in the first half.
The chance to open his MLS account came just a few minutes later when Chris Pontius was fouled in the box.
“There was no discussion,” Davies said. “I was taking that ball. I told Wolff right away ‘I’m taking this.’ And Dax came over with the ball, and he handed it to me and says ‘we trust you and believe in you.’ That says it all.”
This was the moment that Davies had been waiting and working for.
“I was ready for this moment,” he said. “I’ve been waiting such a long time for this exact moment—a year and five months. so it was finally here and I knew I was ready for it. I wanted to go out and succeed, not just go out there and work hard, I wanted to play hard and make an impact, and I was able to do that.”
There were no doubts from McCarty either despite Davies’ long layoff.
“His instincts are unlike anyone else I’ve ever played with,” McCarty said. “I had a one hundred percent confidence, I knew when I gave him the ball he’d bury this, and that pretty much sealed the game for us right there.”
Davies, who had gone through so much to make it back, took a short run up, calmly slotting his shot to the right as Crew goalie Will Hesmer dove the opposite way. It sent the crowd into rapture, and his teammates mobbed him in the corner.
The delirium escalated even further when Davies added a second in the 77th minute. It was a classic Davies goal. Crew defender Chad Marshall slipped while trying to deal with a long ball, and Davies latched onto the loose ball, rounded Hesmer and slotted home for a second goal.
The RFK crowd, which had so profoundly saluted Davies the day after his horrific accident in November 2009, now saluted him for the second time on the night for much happier reasons.
“The support was overwhelming and once that final whistle blew, and I looked at the fans, I lost it emotionally because their support meant so much to me,” he said. “Throughout this whole process of me coming back as a player, they’ve stuck with me from the beginning to the end, till now.”
While Davies will certainly enjoy his triumphant return to first-team action, he is not going to get too carried away.
“This is just the beginning, I got to keep that in mind and not get too high about this moment,” he said. “Of course it’s a very special moment to me.”