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October 7, 2009
Bradley likes his improvement

By Charles Cuttone
Executive Editor

U.S. coach Bob Bradley likes how Charlie Davies is developing.
U.S. coach Bob Bradley likes how Charlie Davies is developing.
Linda Cuttone/Sports Vue Images
You can probably expect to see a lot of Charlie Davies in the next two U.S. World Cup Qualifers. National Team coach Bob Bradley seems to be very high on the New Hampshire native.

“Charlie continues to grow and mature as a player,” said Bradley. “He understands the total responsibility on the field, in terms of not only being somebody who has speed and can break through the defense but somebody who has to combine with his teammates, somebody who understands the responsibilities when the ball gets turned over.”

Davies has appeared in 12 games for the National Team this year, making eight starts. He’s scored three goals in those appearances. His goals have come in Gold Cup, Confederations Cup and World Cup qualifying games. In fact, his one goal in qualifying was the only U.S. scored in a 2-1 loss to Mexico at Estadio Azteca.

Bradley, who gave Davies his first career National Team start this past January, said, “The thing I’ve kind of said over and over with Charlie, its been steady growth from the time that he went to Hammarby.

Its not been that he’s just skipped a bunch of steps. I think his experience so far in France has fit with all of that.”

Davies, who played two seasons at Boston College and was a Hermann Trophy finalist, before signing with Hammarby, lit up the Swedish league last season, scoring 15 goals.

He transferred to Sochaux before the current season, and has scored seven goals in the team’s first 11 games, leading Bradley to further praise the 23-year-old’s development.

“Charlie has earned the respect within the team, so he has been for the most part a 90 minute player. Most games he’s still been active and dangerous. I think his all around game continues to improve.”
With the importance of the next two games, and the U.S.A.’s qualifying fate at stake, Bradley most likely will not start the youngster, but Davies has proven he can make things happen on the field.

“When you look at players and how they develop, it may work that at any given moment maybe a guy has a good game or at a certain point there is some extra attention that’s brought by a play or a goal,” said Bradley. “But for the most part you need to step back from all that and understand that the learning process still moves along, hopefully moves along step by step and that they continue to move forward.

“Charlie is a player that has shown he works hard, he’s matured a lot along the way. It makes us feel good that he will continue to move in the right direction.”

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