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Charlie Davies Slams Sochaux After World Cup Roster Decision

Just when you thought Charlie Davies’ omission from the U.S. team’s preliminary World Cup roster had been examined from every angle, there’s a new one to consider.

It’s Sochaux’s fault.

At least, if you listen to Charlie Davies, it is.

Davies ripped team officials at the French club for a letter they sent to national team coach Bob Bradley that eventually kept him off the roster.

“It’s frustrating because for the past months I’ve been training with the (Sochaux) team,” Davies said. “I’ve progressed a lot, I continue to progress, I still have to progress but I’m definitely ready to play.

“It’s a very strange situation, I feel hurt because I feel like I’ve been let down by my club. Bob Bradley called me the night before the selection was put out to the press. He explained to me that Sochaux sent a letter saying they were not going to clear me medically and wouldn’t release me to go with the national team. And that this had a big part to play in not being able to select me.”

Naturally, Sochaux has a vested intrest in Davies’ health for the 2010-2011 Ligue 1 season. So it’s not surprising that their trainers are erring on the side of caution.

But alienating a player has its own consequences.

“I’m very angry because I feel FC Sochaux has denied me a chance at playing in the World Cup,” Davies said. “Of course I’m not at 100 percent now but I feel that by the time our World Cup camp starts next week I would be at a level where I can compete for one of the forward spots.”

What do you think? Was Sochaux out of bounds, or simply protecting its investment?

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  1. Pakapala

    May 13, 2010 at 7:52 pm

    I am sorry Charlie Davies; but all this show is that Bob Bradley is taking the World Cup seriously; he is not selecting players based on feel-good comeback stories, but on the merit of what they can bring to the team @ 100% come summer time. You are going to be 100% come June? Surely you would understand nobody would expect the coach to take your word for it, nor would we expect Sochaux to go on your words either. Many people after a car accident with no apparent injuries say they’re fine and don’t go to the doctor, only to complain later about neck and back pain, or headaches. That’s why the medical experts are brought to evaluate you Charlie. You cannot assess your own medical condition, or your own fitness.

  2. CoconutMonkey

    May 13, 2010 at 7:42 pm

    Bad PR move Charlie.

  3. goforgol

    May 13, 2010 at 6:36 pm

    Play BLAME GAME? Please stop looking for the bad guy. Show some class and stop blaming others for your situation. It is embarrassing.

  4. Lloyd

    May 13, 2010 at 5:00 pm

    Just frustrated…
    when the news came out about the accident it was like hearing as if my brother was in the accident. It struck hard. So I prayed for CD9 and it is wonderful to hear that he is wallking, let alone training again. Use the frustration as motivation for next world cup. I know it’s easy to say this on a website, but you have hundreds of fans backing you, the skills you have before and after the accident, and that feeling of missing the world cup to push you to solidfy your spot on the team next time around.

  5. Save our WC bid

    May 13, 2010 at 4:53 pm

    Someone higher up needs to read this proposal:

    The recent Associated Press story by Blum, announcing Montreal’s expansion to Major League Soccer was stunning, not for the Montreal announcement (they clearly are worthy), but in Commissioner Don Garber’s stunning reference to the awful second-tier situation and the need to study the possibilities of promotion and relegation. That system is present in most major soccer leagues but not in the United States.

    Bloggers are quick to claim that Garber’s words are that…just words to get FIFA off the backs of MLS and the United States Soccer Federation, so it is not unreasonable to suggest that if they are serious, MLS needs to do more than just talk.

    The misconception, however, is that if MLS did establish promotion and relegation, somehow the current tenants of what acts as our second-tier should automatically be involved.

    The reason you don’t just let the current second-tier cities in is the same reason MLS didn’t let Rochester in their league despite previous second-tier success. (Rochester simply did not have a strong enough bid.) The venues in the current second-tier are just not “ready for prime time.”

    If Major League Soccer was serious about developing a second-tier and having promotion and relegation, they themselves must establish a minor league, with one team per MLS team, as part of a deliberate, concrete plan for eventual pro/rel.

    The stakes are high.

    MLS was born out of a promise for the USSF to start a top-tier soccer league to get the 1994 World Cup. I don’t think FIFA would have awarded the World Cup to us if they thought the single-entity MLS as we see it today was going to be formed.

    Larger soccer leagues are looking at our league and our desire to pass 20 teams (when FIFA says 18 are preferred) and are wondering why they need to do FIFA’s bidding much longer?

    More immediately, the 2018 and 2022 World Cup bids will be announced this December. While it seems Europe will win the 2018 Cup, it appears the United States and Australia have become the favorites to win the 2022 Cup.

    As I stated in my previous Bleacher Report editorial, “How MLS can save the World Cup bid (if they had the guts to do so),” Australia at least claims it will develop a promotion and relegation system (meaning they will develop a second-tier to do so despite having a younger top league than even MLS), and because they never hosted the Word Cup before, they are the real favorites.

    If we fail to win the World Cup bid, it should be rightly blamed on the USSF and MLS for their continual insistence that “the infrastructure is not there yet” for promotion and relegation when Australia is proposing to build their own.

    The solution?

    MLS needs to build the second-tier itself by first establishing their own minor league, with the announcement that after a given number of years, the teams are sold off and promotion and relegation begins for real.

    How do they do it?

    Well, what the USSF and MLS need to announce soon to the World Cup bid committee is they will require each MLS team to develop their own minor league team.

    Vague promises of “someday” won’t cut it, FIFA won’t buy it. There needs to be a set-in-stone timeline and a plan.

    Here’s a sample one that works:

    The minor league would start in five years, and each MLS team would seek cities to compete to win that second-tier team.

    Stadiums would have to have a minimum of 12,000 seats (but be in a location where it could readily be expanded to 18-20K seats if needed), and pass other reasonable standards.

    MLS and the second-tier would be split up to two conferences. Five years from now, the minor league begins. The minor league teams would only play in the conference to reduce travel costs starting out.

    After 10 years, the minor league is ended and promotion and relegation begins. By then, all the minor league teams are sold off.

    Fans would get an opportunity as a group to buy a minority interest in their club (which will make it much harder to relocate the team).

    You would have two spots in each conference (four overall) subject to promotion and relegation.

    The top four teams in each MLS conference qualify for the playoffs (yes, in America even with the dual round-robin you have playoffs), but only one-game rounds hosted by the higher seeds remaining. The top teams in each second-tier conference is promoted for the next season, the next two seeds play one game in the promotion playoffs.

    But…but…but…what happens if New York Red Bulls go down to the second-tier?

    Besides amusing me, there is an answer, something that MLS could do that no other league would do. Offer a “puncher’s chance” rule for the second-tier regular season champion in each conference.

    The regular season champion in each second-tier conference would be entered in as the No. 5 seed in the MLS playoffs, playing a wild card game at the No. 4 seed, giving the top remaining seeds a deserved week off.

    This is more than fair.

    It gives the second-tier winners a CHANCE at the MLS Cup, and hope is what sells tickets, folks.

    Since we are talking about 15 years before promotion and relegation definitely begins, current MLS owners can relax.

    They can’t possibly claim that they don’t have a responsibility to develop a minor league system in a “closed” league anyway, since Major League Baseball and the National Basketball Association are doing the very same things. (The NFL doesn’t have to if you consider college football as their minor league, and the newer United Football League could yet become the NFL’s developmental league officially one day.)

    Those MLS owners could develop their own affiliate teams to sell off later, their value greatly increasing on the prospects of television contracts for two tiers of American soccer.

    By the time the 2034 World Cup bid cycle comes around, the growth of professional soccer will easily justify the development of a third tier, by then Americans will “get it” as to how the system works and it will be quite exciting.

    Another point:

    MLS really should rename itself the “North American Premier League.” Also, they really need to evaluate whether dependence on the NCAA to develop soccer players is a good idea considering many other countries have professional players at the age of 16.

    By rule, the NCAA limits practice time for players, limiting their development. I mean, come on now, we offer full college degrees from accredited online universities now, can’t those teams offer scholarships to their younger players to give them a career after soccer? (I offered other ideas to improve MLS right now in my previous Bleacher Report column.)

    Perhaps Garber sees the writing on the wall, that the United States is not the favorite to win the World Cup bid in 2022, and that coupled with being maxed out on expansion for MLS the issue of promotion and relegation is being forced.

    Or he may be pulling everyone’s legs to get FIFA off its back. Time will tell, and it won’t take much time.

    Platitudes mean nothing, only detailed plans matter.

    • CoconutMonkey

      May 13, 2010 at 8:07 pm

      North American Premier League? What does this have to do with Charlie Davies?

      Either way, I like the idea of trying to bring more clubs under the MLS umbrella. But establishing farm teams with the eventual goal of selling them off seems like a long shot; especially in a league where most teams are still struggling financially.

      As for the college game, any time you have hundreds of teams practicing and playing competitive matches. That’s awesome. MLS and the USSF should really focus on raising the level of play and its exposure. Just imagine if NCAA soccer got half the exposure as college basketball does. It’s a rough gem just waiting to be polished.

  6. football betting

    May 13, 2010 at 3:07 pm

    Its not as bad as Ronaldinho not going…

  7. Jake Islas

    May 13, 2010 at 12:58 pm

    It’s so nice to hear the comments that all realize the reality of the situation. Too many times the blame gets put in the wrong place and I think people can buy into that if the media is feeding it. I’m glad people realize it’s no one’s fault but CD’s because he put himself in a situation he should have never been in in the first place.

  8. Robert

    May 13, 2010 at 12:09 pm

    i’m so tired of hearing about charlie davies. he screwed up, broke curfew and lucky to be alive. what ticks me off even more is that he thinks that he is ready to fight for a spot even though he has not played a competitive match in over 8 months come cup time.

  9. Eric Altshule

    May 13, 2010 at 11:36 am

    I feel bad for Davies, but I am sure Sochaux is right. He is not medically ready for competitive play. It took heart to get this far, but it was not far enough. His first competitive kick of the ball in eight months cannot be against England. As Charlie himself said he is not ready now, but he could be ready in a month. Well, now is when you need to be ready. Camp is opening, teams need to gel, strategies need to be perfected. Unless you can play full out now, you cannot be given a slot.

  10. Brandon

    May 13, 2010 at 11:29 am

    I would have loved to see Davies at the World Cup, but I agree with the comments above. He has nobody to blame but himself, and don’t bite the hand that feeds you. He should have kept his mouth shut about Sochaux. This could end up hurting his career more than the accident.

  11. Geoff

    May 13, 2010 at 11:27 am

    As sad as it is for Charlie, I can certainly understand Sochaux’s position. I mean they paid how much for him? Only for him to be out for months as a result of a stupid accident (I refuse to blame him for it, we all break curfew every now and then). I’m certain they do not want him rushing off to South Africa on the cusp of his return to form only to get knocked around so hard that he is driven back to another few months of recovery.

    It sucks, but thats life Charlie. In four years you’ll be our brightest star on the USMNT.

  12. Tom

    May 13, 2010 at 11:27 am

    Sochaux would also gain if Davies had a good world cup, he’d demand more in transfer market and bring more attention (and things like shirt sales) to the club. They must have genuine reservations about his fitness. And after paying him to not play for 6 months, the club certainly deserves a say in the matter. Davies needs to pipe down, his bad judgement got him in this situation. I don’t know why Bradley even considered him- he hasn’t played since last fall.

  13. suckerpunch

    May 13, 2010 at 11:27 am

    Charlie… Its not Sochaux’s fault. Its not Bob Bradley’s fault. Its YOUR fault. Period.
    And the letter was only PART of the reason you weren’t called in. The other part is that US Soccer didn’t feel you were ready either.
    Do you seriously think Bradley wouldn’t have fought to have you make camp if he thought you’d be able to help? This is the freakin’ World Cup dude, and no matter what quibbles you may have with Bradley, I do believe he wants to do as well as possible, so I also believe he is bringing the 30 guys he believes have the most chance of helping.
    It just doesn’t make sense for Bradley to leave Davies off the roster if he thought he could contribute.

  14. Ali

    May 13, 2010 at 11:21 am

    Don’t forget who pays your wages, charlie!

  15. Dude

    May 13, 2010 at 11:18 am

    No charlie, its your fault for breaking curfew…….

    Im sooooooo tired of hearing about charlie davies.

    Lets talk about team america and world cup.

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