They said he was lucky to be alive. They said he would never walk again, much less play. But 522 days after a devastating car accident killed a friend and nearly claimed his life, D.C. United forward Charlie Davies played in his first competitive game since the accident and scored two goals in United’s 3-1 win over Columbus to open the 2011 season. With the scars on his head still visible, Davies was on the verge of breaking down while being interviewed after the game by Comcast SportsNet. (Ed. – This is a must watch)
18,132 were present at RFK Stadium for the scene, as a slow first half with few chances for either team got the game off to a choppy start. Early in the second half, fellow United newcomer Josh Wolff sent it past Columbus keeper Will Hesmer for the first D.C. goal of the season in the 51st minute. Davies came on to replace Joseph Ngwenya in the 52nd, and United was awarded a penalty kick just ten minutes later when Chris Pontius was fouled in the box. In postgame interviews, Davies was quoted as having insisted to captain Dax McCarty that he needed to take the penalty kick. Davies easily slotted it home to give United a 2-0 lead.
It was then the 77th minute when Davies got loose, showed the speed that enthralled American fans in 2009, and beat the keeper in a one-on-one for his second goal of the evening, and sent D.C. well on their way to a victory on opening night. Robbie Rogers would score for Columbus in the 78th off a penalty kick, the only negative to an otherwise fantastic showing by United assistant coach-turned-goalkeeper Pat Onstad.
D.C. sees action next Saturday with their first road game of the season, kicking off with New England at 4:30 p.m. at Gillette Stadium. The Revolution open their season tonight at Los Angeles.