There aren’t many stories out there better than Charlie Davies’. He’s one of those heroes that everyone roots for. This season has just been another that is full of complications for the New England striker. Between hamstring strains and premature twins, Davies has had his hands full off the pitch, let alone on it.
That being said, his limited usage is felt. Davies scored in the opening match against Houston, as he played the full 90, but has not started a game since, coming on as a sub in five matches.
New England has instead had to turn to Teal Bunbury, who, while a physical presence, has proven to be a bit of a frustrating spear head. Bunbury fires on target only 48% of the time compared to Davies’ 76%. Which bodes well for Davies, seeing as how he shoots on average one more shot per 90 than Bunbury. Plus, Bunbury gets dispossessed four times as often.
The New England Revolution are just a few pieces away from having something really special on the offensive end. They create the sixth most chances in MLS. Perhaps not-so-strangely, they sit just behind the New York Red Bulls in chances created. Both teams have something in common – they don’t always have someone to finish off those chances, yet they have all the pieces in play to keep creating them.
Between Lee Nguyen and Diego Fagundez, the Revolution have a fantastic start to the attack. Combined, they create four chances per 90. When you start sprinkling in Kelyn Rowe, Scott Caldwell and the fullbacks, you start to see that this offense is a chance creation machine. They have a set formation and they stick with it. That added consistency, which they have been building for several years now, is an incredible boon to the people involved.
But they don’t have that tip of the spear. They can be as cute on the ball as they like and feed it into perfect locations, but without a bonafide starter, they will continue to drop frustrating points to teams they should be beating.
Charlie Davies has scored 17 goals in the past two years. It’s not the greatest numerical return, but it’s something to bank on. Through it all, he has always maintained a shot accuracy over 50%. That is all New England needs right now. They don’t need to go buy Falcao just yet. Just have an on-par striker at the front who can hit a ball on net and these draws become wins.
Davies has the mentality of a warrior. He has the boots of a trueblooded striker and he has been growing with this offense just like the other key players. New England needs to start leaning on Davies and letting him lead this attack.