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U.S. international Stuart Holden back on the field for Bolton

Jan 8, 2013, 6:15 PM EDT

Holden-Bolton 2

You can barely get through a conversation about the U.S. national team’s midfield – a bit of a mystery right now that could go either way once you get past Michael Bradley – without someone talking about what things might look like with Stuart Holden.

Which is all well and good – except that Holden hasn’t played a second in the national team shirt since 2010.

Clearly, everyone feels badly for the guy, and everyone wants to see him get back on the field. Not just for the national team, by the way, and for the way he could probably add some offensive drive into the midfield, but just because. Holden has remained so reliably positive through two-plus years of injury, and even national team manager Jurgen Klinsmann himself has been known to bring up Holden and say encouraging, hopeful things.

Which is all why this is such wonderful news.

Holden played 65 minutes of a reserve match for Bolton today. It was a 3-0 win over Oldham … not that it matters.

Next step, obviously, is to assess how Holden came through.

  1. bigdinla - Jan 8, 2013 at 6:57 PM

    Come on Stewie! You and MB90 are the perfect central midfield.

  2. dws110 - Jan 8, 2013 at 8:24 PM

    I’m the “someone” you were referring to in the first paragraph. I’ve been in sackcloth and ashes ever since Nigel “A pox upon his house” de Jong broke his leg. Then came Johnny “A plague upon his head” Evans. Now I’m getting all depressed again just thinking about it.

    • mvktr2 - Jan 9, 2013 at 6:52 AM

      Amen!

  3. kingarthur900 - Jan 9, 2013 at 2:30 AM

    I’m another “someone”. I thought S. Holden was our next great hope after John O’brien was forced to concede. Without getting my hopes up too much, thanks for this little ray of sunshine.

  4. mvktr2 - Jan 9, 2013 at 6:50 AM

    Stuart was gone from MLS by the time I began watching the league(I’ve rectified the error of my ways), so I don’t have a frame of reference for how good he was here. However I loved watching the guy in the EPL and was watching the match when De Jong went ‘sweet the leg Johnny’ on him. Given his long road to recovery one can only hope it’s because it’s being done the right way and when he’s finally healthy he’ll be healthy for a LONG time, he’s earned it!

    No way of telling, but I’d guess it’ll be months before he’s match fit and months still behind that before the rust is knocked off. Point being from a USMNT perspective the Hex would be over or in it’s final perhaps critical stages before Stu is even close to sniffing a yanks jersey. I’d guess it’ll be late late LATE 2013 or early 2014 before he’s in a US kit. Question is, IS THAT TOO LATE FOR HIM TO MAKE THE WC SQUAD?

    • schmutzdeck - Jan 10, 2013 at 12:55 AM

      It depends on if he is truly sound and how much of his form he can recover.

      Someone mentioned how he and Mikey are the perfect central midfield pair. I don’t know about that. The role Mikey is best at now is also the role Holden is best at. At their best they are very similar players.

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