WASHINGTON – D.C. United has agreed to take Charlie Davies on loan from France's Sochaux but wants to evaluate how far the American forward has progressed in his comeback from a near-fatal car crash before deciding whether to finalize the deal.
The Major League Soccer team said the 24-year-old is expected to report to the team on Wednesday in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., where it is practicing ahead of the start of the MLS season in March. Davies will train with D.C. United and be evaluated by team doctors.
D.C. United said Tuesday that a weeklong evaluation period "will include training and game time with the first team and a full medical evaluation by team doctors in D.C."
"Details of a 12-month loan have already been negotiated," the team said, "but nothing will be official until D.C. United is satisfied he is physically capable of playing at the level required to be successful in MLS."
Davies left Boston College after three seasons and signed with Sweden's Hammarby in December 2006 rather than playing in MLS. He moved to Sochaux in July 2009 and has never played in the U.S. league.
"I'm very excited to meet up with DC United in Florida tomorrow!!" Davies said on Twitter. "Looking forward to it & can't wait!!"
Davies has not played in a competitive match since a World Cup qualifier at Honduras on Oct. 10, 2009. Three days later, a car crash on the George Washington Parkway in Virginia left another passenger dead. Davies, also a passenger, had a broken and dislocated left elbow, a broken right femur, tibia and fibula, and a broken nose, forehead and eye socket. He also was left with a ruptured bladder and bleeding on the brain.
With four goals in 17 international appearances, Davies had been on track on make the U.S. roster for last year's World Cup. Despite an intensive rehabilitation, he didn't return to action for Sochaux during the 2009-10 season and was bypassed by U.S. coach Bob Bradley.
While Davies played in preseason exhibitions for Sochaux, he hasn't gotten into a competitive match during the 2010-11 season and only dressed for one, a 1-1 draw against Bordeaux on Dec. 19. Sochaux said letting him dress was a reward for his rehabilitation efforts and it didn't consider inserting him into the game.
Maria Espinoza pleaded guilty in November to involuntary manslaughter and drunken driving. She faces up to 13 years in prison when she is sentenced this month, though sentencing guidelines suggest she will spend closer to three to four years behind bars. She also agreed to pay restitution to Davies and the family of the female passenger, though that amount was not revealed.