With U.S. Coach Bob Bradley scheduled to attend, D.C. United forward Charlie Davies, MLS’s scoring leader with six goals, could take a big step toward returning to the national team Saturday night against the reigning champion Colorado Rapids at RFK Stadium.
“That was my whole goal coming here, to make the Gold Cup roster after the letdown for the World Cup,” Davies said Friday. “I’ve worked extremely hard to get to where I am now. I feel ready, confident and I’m going to go into it the same way.”
Davies has not spoken with Bradley since the MLS season started.
“I just know that before the season started, he told me that he’d be watching closely. I know he’s done his homework on every single game I have been a part of.”
If Davies doesn’t receive the call for the Spain friendly and Gold Cup, he could make the U.S. squad for some of several expected friendlies in the second half of 2011. The Gold Cup is a serious competition and there’s no room for experimental roster selections. So Bradley could wait until later in the year to select Davies.
Said DCU Coach Ben Olsen: “Charlie’s focus right now should be solely here, and if he continues to do what he’s been doing here, his shot with that will take care of itself. You don’t get there by focusing on those long-term goals. It’s here and now for him and continually getting better. He has made good strides and the goal with Charlie is to make him a better player than he was before because he’s going to be more well-rounded. You see a little bit of that. He is going to challenge himself and he knows we, as a coaching staff, are not going to stop until he gets to where he wants to be.”
Speaking of Davies, Post colleague Liz Clarke’s profile of him is scheduled to appear in Saturday print editions (available online tonight).
For more United notes.....
*Colorado’s top three forwards are hurting: Caleb Folan, who scored twice against United last month, is out with a groin injury; Omar Cummings, who also scored in the 4-1 victory, is out two to four weeks with a sprained ankle; and Conor Casey is questionable with a hamstring strain.
*Olsen: “It’s an important game for us. You look at the standings, you can jump up a spot or two or you could go down a spot or two. We realize that. It’s important to be consisent; that’s what I am preaching. Can we put on good to very good performances week in and week out?
“We need to have that mentality that it’s not good enough to be mid-table. We need to expect more out of each other and out of this organization. That winning culture has to get back, and for us to do that, we have to keep the concentration high week in and week out and get better because we’re not good enough yet. We certainly have the capabilities of getting better and becoming a playoff team.”
*The Virginia-D.C. Soccer Hall of Fame ceremony Saturday at RFK will honor Thomas Rongen, Dennis Viollet, Keith Tabatznik, Jill Ellis, Julie Shackford, Rob Ukrop, Bill Willis and Jeff Skigen.
*United will play a reserve match against the Philadelphia Union on Monday at Chester Park. Kickoff is at 4 p.m.