Davies to acquire stake in USL League One club

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Former USMNT international Charlie Davies announced on Thursday that he has joined a prospective ownership group aiming to bring a USL League One team to the state of New Hampshire ahead of the 2022 season.

“I could not be more excited about the prospect of bringing a League One club to my home state,” Davies, a native of Manchester, N.H., said in a statement.

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“We want to provide opportunity and create a club that the entire state can be proud of. New Hampshire has never had a team it can really call its own. We can be that.”

Davies and his group have not yet acquired a team. However, he would become the latest former U.S. international to join the ownership ranks once they do. Ex-teammate DaMarcus Beasley announced in October his intention for Ft. Wayne FC to join League One in 2023, while Landon Donovan and Tim Howard each own a minority stakes in USL Championships sides, with Donovan owning part of the San Diego Loyal while Howard has invested in Memphis 901 FC.

In an exclusive interview with ESPN, Davies said he leaned heavily on advice from Howard before deciding to join the ownership group headed by Jeremy Zelanes — a venture capitalist and head of We2 Ventures.

“[Howard] was my go-to as far as bouncing ideas of him and what he thought,” Davies said. “He said this was a tremendous opportunity for me to learn and grow from the experience and do all the things that I envision doing.”

Davies, 34, said he expects to run the technical side of the organization once acquired, and that the ownership group is “one investor away” from being finalized, He added that two sites in the Manchester area are being considered to be the prospective team’s home venue.

Since his retirement following the 2017 MLS season with the Philadelphia Union, Davies has served as a color commentator for the New England Revolution’s regional broadcasts. But Davies said he had also used that time to understand the business side of the Revolution organization.

“I learned the business, from corporate sponsors, to marketing, to fan engagement, to the social game, to community relations,” he added. “I have my hand in everything. I learned a great deal over those two years.”

Davies added that he also interviewed for the Rev’s technical director position that eventually went to Curt Onalfo.

Davies made 17 appearances for the U.S. in his career, including helping the side reach the final of the 2009 FIFA Confederations Cup.

In addition, he made more than 200 appearances in the professional ranks. In addition to the Revs and the Union, Davies also spent time with D.C. United. He also spent time in Europe with Swedish side Hammarby as well as in France with Sochaux, and in Denmark with Randers.

Prior to joining the professional ranks, Davies competed collegiately for Boston College and in USL League Two for the Westchester Flames.