By Kevin Koczwara
It was a great week for the United States Men’s National team when they clinched a qualifying spot for the World Cup. But the party ended quickly. Charlie Davies was involved in a horrific car accident that not only would halt his career, but would come close to taking his life. Then one of the U.S.’s stalwarts in the back, Oguchi Onyewu, went down with a horrific injury in a meaningless game.
But it looks like both players are working their way back from their long-term injuries and hope to be in form for their clubs soon and in the mix for the World Cup again.
Let’s check up on their progress.
The 23-year-old was in the form of his life when playing alongside Jozy Altidore for the U.S. as the two created chances and goals for an improved U.S. national side. He moved to France looking like he could make an impact for Sochaux this season in Ligue 1. He had 2 goals in 6 appearances and looked as though he was starting to get his footing in the French league.
But the accident would slow down the surging American. The injuries Davies would suffer were: two broken bones in his right leg, a broken and dislocated left elbow, a broken nose, forehead and eye socket, a fracture in his face, a ruptured bladder and bleeding on his brain. With a litany of injuries like that, it was luck that saved Davies.
And now it is time for Davies to finish his rehab and get going on the pitch. He says he is a month away from training, and if he can get back on the pitch and match-fit again maybe he can claim back his World Cup spot, because his pace and field awareness is desperately missed by the U.S. squad.
Onyewu was so impressive during the summer of 2009 for the U.S. Men’s National Team that top Italian side AC Milan went out and signed the out of contract player from Standard Liège. But his club season was cut short as he went down with a major knee injury during the U.S.’s final World Cup qualifier against Costa Rica on Oct. 17. He underwent surgery on Oct. 21 for his injured knee and hasn’t seen the pitch since, until now.
It is reported that the 27 year-old is making strides and is back training. He was reported to be training with the U.S. National team in Carson, Calif. And that he will be returning to Milan to continue training to get fit for the last half of the Serie A season. Milan is hoping he will be fit and ready to go soon as AC tries to push through the end of the season and claim a Champions League spot for next season as they will need the finances to claim a few players in this summers transfer window to bolster their squad.
If Onyewu can get fit and in match fitness then U.S. coach Bob Bradley will be pleased because if their is one place the U.S. squad is short, its the back-line where injuries have plagued the squad and there is a real lack of up-and-comers.
Kevin Koczwara can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org