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A Philadelphia Union blog hosted by Christopher A. Vito and Matthew De George

Thursday, August 4, 2016

Union cap summer spree with Davies trade

Charlie Davies, left, playing for New England against Orlando City last week,
is the newest member of the Union after a trade completed Thursday morning.
The final move in a hectic final day of the MLS transfer window needed an extra eight hours to clear. But when the dust settled Thursday morning, the Philadelphia Union had achieved clarity on its aim this summer.

The Union capped a flurry of deals by acquiring forward Charlie Davies from New England along with a 2018 third-round SuperDraft pick in exchange for a 2018 first-round SuperDraft pick, general allocation money and targeted allocation money.

Capped with the transfer of designated player Alejandro Bedoya and the departure of Sebastien Le Toux to Colorado, the Union don’t exactly overhaul the roster but put on some important finishing touches for what they hope is a playoff run.

All told, the Union acquired Bedoya, Davies, the third-rounder and GAM from Colorado. They spent GAM, TAM (both to New England and Chicago for the top spot in the allocation order to get Bedoya), a discovery rights swap with Chicago and first-round SuperDraft picks in 2017 and 2018 while also bidding farewell to franchise all-time leading scorer Le Toux.

In Davies, the Union get a workhorse depth forward who brings as much off the field as on, though at a third of the cost of Le Toux and two years younger. Davies, 30, has been limited to just nine games this season as he battled cancer that was recently declared in remission.

He had a breakthrough 2015 season, scoring 10 goals and four assists in 33 games, but he was marginalized in New England with the arrival of Kei Kamara.

Davies, like Bedoya a Boston College grad, spent much of his career in Europe. Like Bedoya, he played in Sweden with Hammarby and France with Sochaux, where he was a teammate of former Union player Vincent Nogueira. He also used a successful loan stint with D.C. United to earn a season-plus in Denmark with Randers.

Davies, who becomes the fifth member of the Union with U.S. National Team caps, has played 17 times for the U.S. from 2007 to 2009, when his career trajectory was infamously altered by a car accident that cost him over a year on the field.

Davies’s cap hit is a shade under $107,000 this year, compared to Le Toux’s $300,000. More important than his role as a reserve forward could be his veteran presence with a young squad, and the wise-beyond-his-years Davies certainly provides a benefit there.

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