Stu Holden suffers “very serious” knee injury in Gold Cup final

By Jamie Trecker, FOXSoccer.com


Stuart Holden is facing the possibility of another long layoff from soccer after suffering what American manager Jurgen Klinsmann described as a “very serious” knee injury in today’s Gold Cup final. Holden was injured in the 22nd minute after a collision with Panama’s Alberto Quintero that left the Bolton star in a heap on the field, clutching his right knee.

Further tests will take place tomorrow, but the concern was evident in Klinsmann’s delivery. It seems clear that the Americans do not expect Holden to be in uniform any time again soon.


Omar Gonzalez carried Holden onto the field after the win. (Getty)

Holden has struggled with serious injuries throughout his professional career. He was infamously attacked outside a Newcastle bar and was left with a fractured eye socket; he has injured his ankles repeatedly, and has struggled to maintain fitness since. Holden also suffered serious injury to his left knee, taking twenty-six stitches after a tackle by Manchester United’s Jonny Evans in March 2011. He would end up sitting out of the sport for over a year. Since 2010, he has only made a combined 34 club appearances between Bolton and a loan spell with Sheffield Wednesday.


Holden’s latest injury is a serious blow. If it is confirmed he will be on the sidelines for an extended spell, he may miss out on the 2014 World Cup. At 27, Holden is also facing a race against time: not many clubs are likely to take a chance on a player who is more often in a hospital than on a field.

U.S. Soccer is expected to issue a statement on Holden’s condition following an examination here tomorrow.


DaMarcus Beasley, Stuart Holden and Chris Wondolowski hungry for success

With Mexico and the United States leaving some of their biggest stars off the Gold Cup roster, there is some question as to how crucial winning the tournament really is to the big nations.

However, there is no doubt over how important the Gold Cup is for the individual players who were called up — the Cup has shown in the past that it can serve as a springboard for fringe players to make the following year’s World Cup rosters.

This year on the United States’ side, three names have come in focus particularly: Chris Wondolowski, Stuart Holden and DaMarcus Beasley. The “late bloomer,” the “comeback kid,” and “the captain,” respectively.

FOX Soccer took all three on a relaxing boat ride in Baltimore ahead of the USA’s quarterfinal win against El Salvador, and each spoke about their goals, each other’s talents, and what makes suiting up for the red, white and blue so special.


Gold Cup: Five things learned from USA’s 4-1 victory over Cuba

By Kyle McCarthy, FOXSoccer.com


It took a bit longer than expected for the United States to hit its stride in their 4-1 victory against Cuba. The visitors even managed a stunning opening goal when Jose Ciprian completed a swashbuckling counter after 36 minutes. But the Americans equalized through Landon Donovan shortly before halftime to set the stage for a significant second-half improvement. Chris Wondolowski struck twice in the final half hour to ensure that the US will finish atop Group C with a victory (or a draw, most likely) over Costa Rica in East Hartford, Conn. on Tuesday.

 In the wake of a third straight heavy victory, here are a few points to ponder as the US approaches a decisive affair against the Ticos:

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Stuart Holden vows to fight for place in USA squad

By Kyle McCarthy, FOXSoccer.com


Stuart Holden’s humbling road through injury-enforced wilderness took an unexpected comedic turn when he entered the United States’ 6-0 victory over Guatemala on Friday night.

Holden – a player of considerable repute with Olympic, Premier League and World Cup experience on his CV – heard the public address announcer mangle his name when he entered at the start of the second half.

“Stacy Holden? You try not to hear that stuff in the game, but when it was announced, it was hard not to laugh,” Holden said. “I was thinking, he’d better correct it. The guys were laughing about it. I heard him re-announce it.”

Holden then followed suit regarding his own international credentials with an encouraging display of his quality and his range in central midfield. His clever, inch-perfect service on Landon Donovan’s second goal captured the most attention, but his overall performance – adroit in possession, robust in his tackling, tidy in his positioning – showed the progress made over the past few months.

“I thought he was fantastic,” Donovan said. “He was calm on the ball. He tackled when he needed to. His service was great. His passing was excellent. I thought he was really good. I think we can all agree that it’s as good as he’s been since he’s been back playing. I’m really happy.”

The trick for Holden now: turning one good night into a series of influential Gold Cup showings over the next month. He faces a fight to earn playing time in the center of the park with Kyle Beckerman, Mikkel Diskerud and José Francisco Torres and push his claims for more than a handful of substitute appearances.

“If I didn’t I was 90 minutes ready and Jurgen didn’t think I was 90 minutes ready, then I don’t think I’d be a part of this group,” Holden said. “If I’m out there in the game, I’m hoping to play 90 minutes. As a competitor, you’re always a little bit bummed out because you want to be on the field and involved in every single play. I can guarantee that if I’m out there, I’ll give everything I’ve got.”

And if he meets his previous standards once more and reclaim his place in the full team, he can rest assured no one will forget his name.


Stu Holden is finally back on track

It’s been a long and tiring road of recovery for Stuart Holden.

Ever since Jonny Evans’ studs destroyed his knee in March 2011, Holden has been battling to get to full strength and fitness. He faced several setbacks with his knee in his rehabilitation process, but has finally made it back onto the pitch. FOX Soccer spoke with Holden, his brother Euan and girlfriend Karalyn about his recovery process, and now his return to playing.

He hopes to help Bolton get back to Premier League, and contribute to the U.S. men’s national team in the near future — he has his sights set on the World Cup in Brazil.

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