Charlie Davies had waited 17 months to return to a competitive match. So when D.C. United was awarded a penalty kick, he wasn’t about to wait longer to return to scoring.
“He looked at me and said, ‘I need this, I want this,’” teammate Dax McCarty said. “I knew when I gave him the ball he was going to bury it for us.”
Davies converted the 63rd-minute penalty, added a second goal in the 77th minute and D.C. United defeated the Columbus Crew, 3-1, in both teams’ season opener in Washington on Saturday.
Fellow new acquisition Josh Wolff opened the scoring for United.
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Davies has been on a long road to recovery since sustaining severe injuries as a passenger in an automobile crash in nearby Arlington, Va., that killed another passenger in October 2009. Davies was with the U.S. national team at the time as it prepared for a World Cup qualifying match against Costa Rica.
“Today, I achieved the impossible,” said Davies, who suffered a ruptured bladder, bleeding on the brain, a broken and dislocated left elbow, and broken bones in his right leg, nose, forehead and eye socket. “And I’ve just got to keep doing it.”
At Whitecaps 4, Toronto FC 2: Davide Chumiento set up first-half goals by Eric Hassli and hometown midfielder Terry Dunfield as Vancouver won its MLS debut.
Atiba Harris scored in the 64th minute, and Hassli, who last week became the Whitecaps’ first designated player, added a second goal in the 72nd minute as 23,000 boisterous fans welcomed top-level professional soccer back to Vancouver for the first time since 1984.
At Rapids 3, Timbers 1: Omar Cummings scored a goal and helped set up a second as Colorado began defense of its MLS Cup title with a victory over expansion Portland.
Kenny Cooper scored the first goal for Portland in the 80th minute.
Sporting Kansas City 3, at Chivas USA 2: Omar Bravo scored twice as Kansas City beat Chivas USA before a crowd of 18,122.
Real Salt Lake 1, at Earthquakes 0: Kyle Beckerman scored a ricochet goal in the 63rd minute to lead Salt Lake a win over San Jose.
Union 1, at Dynamo 0: Danny Califf scored in the fifth minute, and Philadelphia held on to beat Houston.
Fire 1, at FC Dallas 1: Milton Rodriguez scored in the 19th minute to help Dallas escape with a tie against Chicago.