RICH FIDLER - Tuesday, September 1, 2009
American striker Charlie Davies left Sweden for France this summer, capping off his fantastic run that transcended across multiple continents including Europe, Africa and North America.
The Manchester, New Hampshire native played three seasons with Boston College before taking the leap overseas and signing with Swedish club Hammerby. After nearly three seasons and 21 goals in the Allsvenskan the American was purchased by Sochaux in the French top Division.
"In the French League it's a very fast paced game, with a lot of counter attacks," the 5'-10" forward told Yanks Abroad, "which means I will have to player quicker."
Although Davies didn't start his first game with Sochaux, he's quickly adapted to the league's quicker pace and netted a pair of goals during his followup appearance with his new team.
Over the weekend, his dangerous play attacking Monaco's goal led to a penalty call which was the ultimate decider in the team's 1-0 victory, their second win of the season.
"There is more space to operate and hopefully I will really develop my game as a dangerous counter attack player as well as a player who can come deep for the ball, turn and make things happen."
It's a type and pace to the game that Davies has grown to appreciate since his move, especially when he looks back at his time in the Allsvenskan with Hammerby - a league that isn't known for the "attactive" type of soccer played elsewhere on the continent.
"The game is much faster here in France and every club tries to play football."
"In Sweden a majority of the teams play long ball and much more defensively. There's a lot more counter attacks and I think that's why the French League is an very exciting league to watch."
Davies is in the process of traveling to Sandy, Utah in advance of two crucial qualifiers for the US National Team - before returning to French action in two weeks and continuing his campaign for Les Lionceaux.
While his busy schedule has offered little respite since the start of the Swedish season in March, Davies is unintimidated by its physical rigors and furthermore thrilled by opportunity he's had to hone his skills over recent months.
"I'm excited to be constantly playing," he admits. "Going from playing in the Confederations Cup to Gold Cup and now to the Ligue 1 Season is only going to benefit me because I'm getting to play good competition and getting better each day."
"I'm still very young so I still have the energy to be playing for long amounts of time without a break."
Davies will hope to add to his pair of goals World Cup qualifying when the Nats face El Salvador and Trinidad & Tobago over the next week.