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U.S. soccer star Davies not giving up on World Cup dream

Photo by Danny Aller

Photo by Danny Aller

PARIS -- U.S. forward Charlie Davies has not given up on making the World Cup and even hopes to play for his Sochaux team in the next few weeks, despite the French club's president saying his European season is over.

Davies sustained severe injuries last October in a car accident in Virginia that killed another passenger.

The 23-year-old forward returned to training with Sochaux last month and hoped to play in games during May. There are five matches left, with the club's finale on May 15. The U.S. starts workouts ahead of the World Cup two days later at Princeton, N.J.

Despite Sochaux president Alexandre Lacombe saying on Thursday that Davies won't recover in time to play this season, Davies told The Associated Press he is "still very hopeful of playing this season" and that "we will see come the next couple of weeks."

World Cup teams must submit preliminary 30-man rosters to FIFA by May 11 and final 23-man rosters by June 1, although substitutions can be made up until 24 hours before a team's opener.

"We are all very proud of the determination and the attitude that Charlie has displayed throughout his rehabilitation process," U.S. coach Bob Bradley said in a statement. "It has always been understood that the timing of his return to playing would be difficult to predict. We are continuing to keep track of his progress as we look to make the final decisions on the training camp roster for next month."

Davies sustained two broken bones in his right leg, a broken and dislocated left elbow, a broken nose, forehead and eye socket, a ruptured bladder and bleeding on the brain.

He started an individual training program in March, and was running and doing some ball work this week.

"Since leaving his wheelchair, he has gone through a lot physically to come back," Lacombe said. "We know he could well suffer a blow to his morale if he misses the World Cup, the beacon that has guided him since his accident."

If Davies doesn't make the roster, Clint Dempsey could be moved from midfield to forward to start alongside Jozy Altidore. Davies absence could create an opening at forward for Los Angeles' Edson Buddle and/or Puebla's Herculez Gomez.

Davies was an expected to make the U.S. roster before the Oct. 13 accident on the George Washington Memorial Parkway in Virginia.

Born in Manchester, N.H., he played for Boston College, was a member of the 2008 U.S. Olympic team and has four goals in 17 international appearances, scoring against Egypt in last year's Confederations Cup.

Davies joined Sochaux last summer from Sweden's Hammarby, where he scored 21 league goals in 56 games. He had made a bright start to his career in France, scoring twice in a league game against defending champion Bordeaux in August.