U.S. forward Charlie Davies seriously injured in car crash
A fatal car accident in Virginia early Tuesday could impact U.S. hopes of achieving anything significant at soccer’s 2010 World Cup in South Africa.
American forward Charlie Davies, among the team’s most promising players in the last year, was severely injured in the 3:15 a.m. crash on the George Washington Memorial Parkway near Washington.
Another passenger, Ashley J. Roberta, 22, of Phoenix, Md., was killed in the crash.
Police said neither Roberta nor Davies was driving. The unidentified female driver apparently lost control of the vehicle, which hit a guardrail and split in half.
Davies, 23, underwent more than five hours of surgery at Washington Hospital Center after being airlifted there by helicopter. He was listed in “serious but stable” condition Tuesday after treatment for a lacerated bladder, fractures to the tibia and femur bones in his right leg, facial fractures and a left elbow fracture.
Dan Kalbac, a U.S. Soccer team doctor, said “injuries of this nature usually require a recovery period of six to 12 months and extensive rehabilitation,” meaning Davies is unlikely to take part in the 2010 World Cup, which starts June 11.
A statement released by U.S. Soccer said Davies “will be hospitalized for at least a week and additional surgeries will be required to stabilize his left elbow fracture and possibly the facial fractures.”
Davies, who plays for FC Sochaux in the French league, made his national team debut in June 2007 and has played in 17 games for the U.S., scoring four goals.
“Obviously, as a team we are saddened to learn this news,” U.S. Coach Bob Bradley said in a statement released by the federation. “Our thoughts and prayers are with Charlie and his family, as well as the people in the car and the families of the others involved.
“As a team, we are relying on each other in a moment that has for sure hit us all hard.”
Davies became a regular starter for the national team in the last year. His partnership up front with Jozy Altidore has been developing well and Davies’ speed, matching that of Landon Donovan, has given the U.S. encouragement that it could do well in South Africa.
Davies started and played 78 minutes Saturday night when the U.S. defeated Honduras, 3-2, in Honduras to qualify for the World Cup. The Americans can secure first place in the regional qualifying group by defeating Costa Rica at RFK Stadium tonight (5 p.m., ESPN2 and Galavision).
Honduras is at El Salvador, needing a victory and a U.S. tie or a win to overtake Costa Rica and qualify for the World Cup for the first time since 1982.
Anything less would consign Honduras to a two-game playoff against South America’s fifth-place finisher, but Coach Reinaldo Rueda told the Associated Press that Honduras was going to El Salvador “with plans to guarantee our participation.”
Mexico, which already has qualified, plays Trinidad and Tobago in Port of Spain, Trinidad, in its qualifying finale.