Charlie Davies, a Member of the U.S. National Soccer Team, Is Injured in a Washington area Auto Accident

Forward Charlie Davies, above, was in town for the U.S. national team's World Cup qualifier finale against Costa Rica on Wednesday at RFK Stadium.
Forward Charlie Davies, above, was in town for the U.S. national team's World Cup qualifier finale against Costa Rica on Wednesday at RFK Stadium. (By Ted S. Warren -- Associated Press)
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By Steven Goff
Washington Post Staff Writer
Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Charlie Davies, a starting forward for the U.S. national soccer team and one of the American program's most promising young players, suffered a lacerated bladder and two fractures in his right leg in an auto accident that killed another passenger early Tuesday on the George Washington Memorial Parkway.

Davies was in serious but stable condition Tuesday night after several hours of surgery at Washington Hospital Center. Titanium rods were inserted into his leg to stabilize a broken tibia and femur. He also suffered facial and elbow fractures.

In a statement issued by the U.S. Soccer Federation, team physician Dan Kalbac estimated Davies's recovery will take six to 12 months and that he will require extensive rehabilitation, essentially ending his hopes of playing in next summer's World Cup in South Africa.

"Due to Charlie's fitness level, his prognosis for recovery and his ability to resume high-level competition is substantially improved," Kalbac said.

The one-car accident occurred around 3:15 a.m. on the southbound lanes of the parkway near the Memorial Bridge. Sgt. David Schlosser, a U.S. Park Police spokesman, said three people were inside the vehicle that crashed into a metal guardrail that lines the parkway where it crosses Boundary Channel. Ashley J. Roberta, 22, from Phoenix, Md., was pronounced dead at the scene. A police investigation into the accident is ongoing.

"The car was pretty much split in half," Schlosser said. The USSF said it was told by police that Davies, 23, was not the driver. The third person in the vehicle was not identified.

With no official team functions scheduled until midday, USSF officials did not learn of the accident until late in the morning. Coach Bob Bradley told the players before lunch at the team hotel in Pentagon City.

"We are relying on each other in a moment that, for sure, hit us all hard," he said at the beginning of a regularly scheduled news conference. "Our thoughts and prayers are with Charlie and Charlie's family, as well as the other [persons] in the car and the families of the others involved."

The U.S. team is in Washington for a World Cup qualifier against Costa Rica on Wednesday night at RFK Stadium. After clinching a Cup berth Saturday night in Honduras, the squad arrived in Washington to prepare for the final game of a six-nation qualifying group.

Players were under curfew, though the time of it was not immediately known. Davies will be hospitalized at least a week and require additional procedures to treat the elbow and possibly the facial injuries.

On Saturday, Davies played 78 minutes and assisted on the first of Conor Casey's two goals during the 3-2 victory in San Pedro Sula, Honduras. He has made 17 appearances for the national team and scored four goals, including one against Mexico in August.

Davies plays professionally for Sochaux, a French first-division club that acquired him from Hammarby in Sweden this summer. The Manchester, N.H., native starred at Boston College before turning pro with one year of eligibility remaining.

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