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Holden completes move to Bolton

Stuart Holden 3 (ISIphotos.com) 

Photo by ISIphotos.com

Stuart Holden's quest for a European club has finally resulted in a contract, meaning he can now begin working toward battling for a place in the U.S. World Cup squad.

Bolton manager Owen Coyle has confirmed that the club will sign Holden as one of two winter acquisitions, along with Manchester City's Vladimir Weiss.

Holden is nursing a minor thigh injury that could delay his transition into the team, but he could be with the squad for its Tuesday league match vs. Burnley.

Holden joins former Dynamo teammate Ricardo Clark, who has signed with Eintracht Frankfurt, as Americans to make major transfer moves from MLS this winter.

What do you think of the move? Eager to see him on the field in the EPL? Think he can play his way into a starting role ahead of the World Cup?

Share your thoughts below.

94 comments
  • gmonsoon43

    Also bringing in Vladimir Weiss could hurt Holden’s big for playing time a little. He also plays wide mid(or can play attacking mid). Haven’t seen him in the EPL but he looked quite good against the US this fall for Slovakia.

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  • 12th Player

    I doubt Holden will not get much playing time with Bolton right away. Their recent signing Korean International Chung-Yong Lee has been in excellent form and has the right wing position pretty much locked. Matthew Taylor has been less consistent on the left side but Coyle seems intent on keeping him there for his deadball skills.

    Holden’s best chance of getting playing time would be in the central mid where Mark Davies, Gary Cahill and Tamir Cohen have been good but not great.

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  • 12th Player

    And yes with the promising young player Vladimir Weiss in the mix at mid at Bolton, I don’t see how this is a good move for Holden if he wants to get the playing time he needs to be included in the WC roster.

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  • Charles

    What do I think of it ?

    I am an American soccer fan, it stinks. I hope that MLS can keep the talent here soon.

    Like I am really going to watch relegation bound Bolton play.

    So that means instead of watching Holden play about 10-20 times this year, including a few in person, I will see him if he plays in the World Cup.

    Someone please go to a MLS game outside of Seattle, so we can solve this.

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  • Andy in Atlanta

    Not to mention that Bolton’s MF is much worse… you idiots are the same ones that got on Dempsey because he did not play a boat load his first season…now he is a hot commodity and inked into the Fulham line-up when healthy…Holden will play in a months time..

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  • James T.

    I agree with those who compare Holden’s current path to that of Dempsey’s past. Both were attacking midfielder stars in the MLS, and both signed for lesser Premier League teams. Just like Dempsey, Holden will certainly have to fight for a place in the starting lineup and will have to adapt his game for the Premier League. Only time will tell if this move will be successful, but I do think Holden has made the right choice for furthering his development.

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  • Chris in Belfast

    I’m personally taking that as a sign that the sides are actually negotiating rather than posturing. Hopefully it is good.

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  • Chris in Belfast

    Bolton’s goal differential isn’t that bad– the two Arsenal games didn’t help, but they aren’t leaking goals like all the other teams around them. If they can get people to score, and I think with Holden they might have found a player with an offensive spark, Bolton has every chance to climb out of the relegation zone.

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  • kpugs

    Great move for Holden’s club career, especially since it’s a 6-month deal to start.

    It could really bite him in the butt in terms of the world cup though. Bolton don’t have to play him. It’s completely up to him to earn playing time. If he rots on the bench, he’s probably still worth taking to South Africa, but how likely is that to happen? I wish him the best.

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  • HoneyHell

    Until the MLS improves its pay scale to compete with the international market you will continue to see young players leave for the EPL, Championship, Scotland, Bundeslega, Mexico and anywhere else they can actually make a real living. I don’t see this changing anytime soon so we’ll continue to have a league of young & rought prospect players and players who are over the hill looking for a last couple of years of playing time.

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  • bob hinkley

    Comes down to minutes. If he plays then this will help. If he rots on the bench or doesn’t even make the bench then MLS was better. Playing anywhere is better than being on a roster for the best team in the world and not playing. Next thing you know they’re farming you out to some lesser team and then you end up in Greece

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  • ANM

    There’s a key dynamic here that works in Holden’s favor. Not only is Coyle a new manager, but he is actively attempting to change the direct style Bolton used under Allardyce and Megson to a game more focused on quick short passing. This stylistic shift means that Coyle is anxious to remake what currently passes as the Bolton midfield. In that respect, a new signing like Holden, who is a decent possession player, should have the opportunity to make an impact.

    Maybe we will see some DNPs, but Holden will definitely get his chance.

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  • Charles

    Don’t disagree with you, just pointing out, if people actually supported soccer IN the US it wouldn’t be that way.

    I do think that adding a second DP to the league will get some fans coming. The next Ljundbergs and Beckhams, are still close to their prime and will not play for Bolton ever, so MLS offers a great alternative.

    Go Bolton, I hope you can win a six or seven games this year. Maybe they can finish within 60 points of the winners with Holden on the team!

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  • Charles

    Is there any word how much he makes over there?

    How far do we have to go before we actually can afford to watch players like Holden play in our country?

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  • Eric

    Let’s hope that Stu can get some meaningful minutes….would be great to have him in top form for the World Cup.

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  • jimmygreaves

    Weiss is a better player at this point, so Holden won’t beat him out. Holden’s future is ultimately more in the center of the park anyway. He is unlikely to see as much PT as he would have in Houston but if he comes on at the end of the season it will help him for SA.

    On the positive side, Coyle seems to really want him and Holden is unlikely to have any cultural issues fitting in.

    Overall it’s probably risky for his short term future but, unless he doesn’t play a game between now and May, he is most likely already on the SA squad. For his long term development(and his bank account),this is a better situation.

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  • Goalscorer24

    Great opportunity for Holden. All the people that are saying this is a bad situation are crazy! The whole point is to be fighting for a starting position. Whether he makes it or not is beyond anybodys control, but himself. That push will help him blossom, unlike if he stayed in Houston and did not try to grow.

    I was at the US game the other night with the mostly MLS’ers and they stunk.

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  • Andy in Atlanta

    Yeesh… do you guys not know who Owen Coyle is? He likes to play attractive attacking football on the ground with crosses in the final third after nice inter-play.. Stu will excell…

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  • Charles

    MLSers definitely stunk…

    …but he didn’t grow at Houston ?

    I would have to disagree with that. Kinnear is a great coach.

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  • Luke

    “Not to mention that Bolton’s MF is much worse…” Worse than what? Bolton’s MF is actually pretty solid. Cohen, Taylor, Muamba and Lee are the starters with Gardner, M. Davis, S. Davis, McCann, O’brien and now Weiss all ahead of Holden in MF pecking order. With Bolten in a relagation battle, I just don’t see Holden getting alot of oppurtunities. And besides if Bolton was so high on Holden you would thought they’d have signed him to a longer contract than until the end of the year.

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  • d-bar

    I think this is a great opportunity for Holden’s long term success, but it may hurt him in the short term. This is (obviously) a world cup year, so if he doesn’t earn minutes quickly, it will hurt his chances to make the team, or at least hurt his form if he does make the team. Even with that downside, the long term benefits of an EPL side with a manager known for playing attractive football more than outweigh the risks. Best of luck to him!

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  • CrispyST3

    YOU SIR! Are correct, i was reading all the posts before you, and then i got to YOURS! Could not agree more, he should work on upper body strength that can help shake off bigger midfielders/defenders….

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  • Joamiq

    I don’t think this is a Feilhaber@Derby situation. Benny admitted that his attitude wasn’t the best there. Stewie is acknowledged by everyone to be a hard worker with a good attitude. I think that’s going to help him a lot. I have faith in his abilities as a soccer player, and I think he’s good enough to be an EPL regular. He’s definitely going to get his shot. I don’t think Coyle spent this much time evaluating and signing him to have him not play at all. Here’s to hoping it works out for him.

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  • Stephen

    Well, I’m watching the Arsenal-Bolton match currently, and their midfield (Bolton) doesn’t look too hot. Plus, I think that Coyle might know what he needs more that most of the people on here.

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  • Stephen

    I don’t think that there’s too much wrong with that. There are some solid teams in the Champiosnhip this year, plus he will still develop.

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  • cfig

    Yeah, need to get the facts straight there. Kinnear is LARGELY responsible for Stu’s development as a player.

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  • Mingjai

    I’m with you. I see more similarities to Dempsey than to Feilhaber. Holden’s been through a lot, and if anything, he’s proven to be a scrapper like Dempsey has.

    While I admittedly haven’t followed Holden his whole career, but this a guy who played for Sunderland reserves, got his eye smashed by some thugs in Newcastle, returned to the States, worked his way up to the top of the MLS, while overcoming the loss of his father to cancer last year.

    Holden’s overcome a lot for a 24-year old, and I’m not one to doubt him now. Good luck, Stuart.

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  • Dclark0

    As a Bolton supporter I couldn’t disagree more… Mark Davies, Sean Davis and Joey O’Brien are all injured, the latter two long-term, and Gardner was unable to make the bench against Sheff Utd over the weekend because he had taken a knock. McCann has been really poor this year, and Taylor is valuable on set pieces of course but in truth has been out of form. Muamba is a pure defensive mid, no offensive threat whatsoever, and Cohen has been decent but certainly isn’t someone who creates a lot of chances for others. The truth is that our midfield offers next to nothing when it comes to creativity or precision passing, which is why we’ve had to rely on hoofing it up to Kevin Davies (all told not that bad of an option though).

    At the very least Holden gives Bolton some sort of creative/attacking option off the bench, which was previously non-existent. Weiss will probably be ahead of him in the pecking order of course, but I reject the notion that he won’t get any first team opportunities this season. Coyle isn’t an idiot and he wouldn’t have signed him in the first place if he knew he was just going to be playing reserve matches for four months.

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  • TegucigalpaBaby

    When this one fails yet again, how long before you Kool-Aid drinkers will start blaming Owen Coyle? “Booo hoooo the coach (sic) hates him, Yanks never gets a fair shot abroad” blah blah blah…you know…like with clowns like Freddy Adu – it was the fault of his 154 managers he’s faceplanted since his move to Europe, right? It was all their fault, right? “U.S. NT is a tier below the top nations like Spain or Brazil, on the same level as Argentina, Italy and Germany, clearly ahead of Ghana, Serbia, Denmark etc.”, right, and Papua New Guinea will win the next World Championship of Basketball. Delusional, the lot of you.

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  • Eric

    Reserve matches in England are probably tougher than regular MLS matches. He needs to develop his skills more and going here will help the most. He just needs to prove himself on the training ground and the reserve matches and work his way up like every other player trying to make it in Europe.

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  • pablo aguilar

    hola soy pablo aguilar. quisiera probarme en algun club ingles, me ayudas. muchas grasias, trata de contestarme si puedes, porfavor

    Like

  • koobri@gmail.com

    I’m sure there are a lot of people with more knowledge than you who are looking out for Stu Holden’s future. He is the future of the American midfield. He will do well given the time.

    Like

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