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Don’t forget about Stuart Holden

May 31, 2012, 5:20 PM EDT

Aston Villa v Bolton Wanderers - Carling Cup Third Round Getty Images

Maurice Edu, Jermaine Jones, and Michael Bradley (especially Michael Bradley) are killing it in the United States midfield. Throw in Jose Torres, Kyle Beckerman and a few others, and the American central spots are stacked. But perhaps there’s room for one more?

Namely, Stuart Holden.

“I’m real life running,” he says happily while jogging on a treadmill in the No Holden Back clip at the bottom of this post.

The affable Scottish Texan hasn’t appeared for the US since Oct. 12, 2010 and has struggled with injuries ever since Nigel de Jong broke Holden’s leg on March 3, 2010, which caused him to miss the 2010 World Cup. (Update: Adam W. Moses points out on Twitter that Holden played against England in the World Cup. He’s correct. Thanks Adam.)

But he’s coming back. Bolton may be relegated, but Holden will return to the field soon enough. And sure, it’s been more than 18 months since he donned the Red, White, and Blue, and a year since he put on a Wanderers jersey, but he’s still only 26. It’s going to take time, of course, and he’ll have to avoid another injury (easier said than done for Holden, who has terrible luck), but let’s not forget there was a real call for him to start in the center of midfield before de Jong ended those hopes and dreams. He works his butt off, plays passes other players don’t see, and generally adds to the game.

Are we past the point where Holden makes Jurgen Klinsmann’s top 11? Probably. But he will still play a role in the qualification process for the 2014 World Cup. Don’t forget about Holden.

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