Holden started for the US against Holland yesterday, and it was a one hundred eighty degree turnaround from just a month ago. At the beginning of February Holden was coming off an injury, not playing for his club, and barely surviving at the fringes of the US squad, not even certain he would be on the plane to South Africa.
Then, just last week Bolton Wanderers had an FA Cup replay against Tottenham, and Holden finally got an opportunity. Even though Bolton were knocked out of the cup, young Stuart played well enough that he was given the chance to start the next league match. He played great, Bolton won, and Stuart Holden went on to the Amsterdam Stadium, full of confidence and ready to play Holland.
When he arrived in the Netherlands, Stuart discovered that, thanks to 4 midfielders and 1 striker being out injured, he would be in the starting line-up. In the first half hour played well, maybe the only US player to play well, and I was thinking not only had he secured his place in South Africa, but he would be full of confidence and ready to take the Premier League by storm when he returned.
But alas, it was not to be. Manchester City midfielder Nigel DeJong wen tin high, late, and hard on a tackle at midfield, breaking Holden's leg and putting him out of action for at least 6 weeks. Damn the luck. Hopefully he will recover quickly.
There was other good news though. Holden had originally signed with Bolton on a short term contract through the end of May, with an option for Bolton to extend it to the end of next season. This week, despite the injury, Bolton decided to exercise that option. A good decision in my opinion.