Ricky Davis, one of the best American soccer players ever to play the game, announced yesterday that he has decided to turn down an offer to join Team America and will remain with the Cosmos for the upcoming North American Soccer League season.
Davis, a midfielder, had criticized the Team America concept and wrote a New York Times column in January opposing the idea. He arrived five days late for the team's training camp in Tampa and did not appear at a press conference introducing the team held last week in Washington.
"There were a lot of factors," said Davis, the league's North American player of the year in 1979. "There were good reasons to go, but there are also a lot of good reasons to stay with the Cosmos.
"In the final analysis, it came down to a decision to where I could contribute to the development of the game more," Davis said.
"The Cosmos have their own version of Team America. They have a very successful Americanization program that I've been an important part of. For many reasons, the best place for me at the moment is with the Cosmos."
Beau Rogers, general manager of Team America, said that "there are a lot of good American players, and I am sure the coach has others that he can use."
Davis, 24, one of three Cosmos players selected for Team America, has eight goals and 27 assists since joining the team out of Santa Clara University in 1977.