Fans in the U.S. and France reach out to injured American forward Charlie Davies
Soccer fans in the U.S. and France have reached out to American forward Charlie Davies, who suffered severe and possibly career-threatening injuries in a car crash Tuesday that claimed the life of one woman and injured another.
The U.S. plays Costa Rica tonight in its final qualifying match for the 2010 World Cup in South Africa and fans at RFK Stadium in Washington are planning a tribute to the 23-year-old Davies by holding up his number 9 in the ninth minute of the match (5 p.m. Pacific time, ESPN2 and Galavision).
Davies, who suffered a broken right leg, broken left elbow, lacerated bladder and facial fractures in the single-car accident, was recovering at Washington Hospital Center, where he is expected to remain for at least a week.
"No news is good news from the hospital about Charlie," U.S. Soccer said on its men's national team blog today. "He remained stable throughout the night and has been able to receive visits from his family, who arrived last night. Charlie's family will be attending the match tonight at RFK, and he is surely in the thoughts of the players as they get ready for the game."
Meanwhile, supporters of Davies' French club, FC Sochaux, have flooded its website with messages wishing Davies well and expressing condolences to the family of Ashley J. Roberta, the 22-year-old passenger who was killed in the 3:15 a.m. crash on the George Washington Parkway in northern Virginia.
A sampling of the comments from the Sochaux fans:
"The big yellow and blue family of which I am part is shocked by this terrible news. All my condolences to the family of this young woman tragically taken; it is unjust and unfair to be taken at 22 years old. I wish you much courage and strong moral fiber to fight and return at full strength as quickly as possible. Everyone at Stade Bonal waits for you and is thinking of you and remembers you."
"Charlie, I wish you a good recovery in these difficult moments. My sincere condolences to the family of the person who died. I hope that you recover physically and psychologically after this sad ordeal because Sochaux needs you because you are an excellent player and you will be missed. I hope you return quickly to wear the Sochaux jersey."
Meanwhile, the cause of the accident, in which the vehicle was split in two when it struck a guardrail, remains under investigation and a U.S. Park Police spokesman told the Washington Post that it could be a week or two before the cause is known.
The injuries Davies sustained will almost certainly prevent him from playing in the World Cup next June in South Africa. Replacing Davies in the lineup will be a difficult task for Coach Bob Bradley, whose choices are limited.
For more on who could take Davies' place in the starting lineup, keep checking in with The Times' soccer report.
--Grahame L. Jones