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Report: Holden to sign with Portuguese leaders Braga after Bolton passes

Stuart Holden 3 (ISIphotos.com)

Stuart Holden went to England with the hopes of landing a contract. It looks as though he will have to move elsewhere in Europe to find a deal.

According to the UK-based Mirror, Bolton has passed on signing Holden, and now the U.S. national team midfielder is heading to Portugal to sign with Sporting Braga. Currently in first place in the Portuguese Liga, Braga is tied with Benfica atop the league standings.

We have yet to find a second story to corroborate the Mirror's story (including a search through Portuguese media on Tuesday morning), but Bolton passing shouldn't come as a complete surprise given the delay in offering Holden a deal. If true, Braga could be a great option for Holden because the club is in good position to be playing Champions League soccer next season.

What do you think of this development? Surprised Holden couldn't latch on in England? Think Braga is a good option? Still holding out hope that Holden returns to the Houston Dynamo?

Share your thoughts below.

81 comments
  • wilyboy

    Yeah, great, cuz if there’s one thing Portugal really needs, it’s talented, creative midfielders. (sigh).

    Like

  • evan eleven

    i can’t see how this makes sense. Braga is surely a better team than Bolton is…

    Like

  • BetaMale

    Definitely is not going to be an easy place for him to get minutes, but Stu always has been a hard worker with a positive attitude, not to mention a bit of skill. If anyone can succeed over there, its Stu

    Like

  • Michael Vann

    I’m not the biggest fan of the Liga Sagres. Outside the Big 3 + Braga there is some dreadful football. It is very hard to watch and stomach some of the play. It’s an okay league but it is highly overrated. But since this is a top side and a side that is in reach of a championship, I’m all for this move, provided he’ll play. Braga have finished outside the top 5 just once in the last 6 yrs. They have a good set-up and a good mix of contracted and loan players. They have solid vets and youngsters. Like I said, I’m not the biggest of fans of the league but it can provide something for Stu and that’s competition in a pressure cooked environment.

    Like

  • Stuart Holden fan

    Chong-Yong Lee was really excellent this weekend and might have been a bit too much for Holden to unseat from the starting 11.

    Holden strikes me as a player that is going to work hard and really takes his chances, so to speak. The thing is – can he get matches with Sporting Braga, can he get starts? It’s a tall order with a Championship on the line.

    Truthfully, any player coming out of the MLS needs accelerated development to make it in a top league. If Holden thinks they need him, then he’s doomed. But with Bolton taking a pass on him, maybe he’ll be fired up more than ever to prove himself.

    Ands he seems to be able to raise his level, which speaks positively to his talent potential and his mind set.

    Like

  • jeff

    This wont happen.

    1. No Portuguese papers mention it.

    2. Braga’s mid is already full, and they just bought 2 new players this month.

    3. Even if he did sign for Braga, he’ll be in the bench.

    Like

  • Jon

    I’m skeptical that he’ll play much. If Braga’s atop the league, what use do they have for a guy who couldn’t get a contract at Bolton. I like Stu, but I think he screwed up by going to the UK to try to win a contract. That trial thing never seems to work out. Also, I don’t see his strengths valued that much in the Portugese league. More UK/USA-based energy/crossing/defending. In the long-run, he’ll benefit from learning to be more tactical and improve his technique. But short term–for the World Cup–probably not the best scenario, assuming he doesn’t play much. That said, it’s probably better than staying in MLS(that’s how little I think of our league, sadly).

    Like

  • Thomas

    Braga should buy him, then loan him back to Houston until after the World Cup. It’s win win. They get the player, he gets playing time in a WC year, and then he reports for preseason training.

    Like

  • jim

    why should he? They are tied for first place meaning they are in first place!!! Tied is not a position, you have to be tied for a position and in this case its first place. so they are in first place, what did you think their in second??

    Like

  • Micah King

    Don’t like this move. I am starting to get scarred about the World Cup for us(USA). Everyone is getting hurt, and most players are struggling finding playing time. Hey Ives, did you hear about Vincenzo Bernardo, who played for Napoli is trialing with some MLS teams ?

    Like

  • Slyboy

    I dont know how many games you have watched, you seem to have some knowledge. Because i find it a highly entertaining league. Braga, Nacional, Maritimo, and Uniao Leiria all play very good passiing attacking soccer. And that is to say nothing of the Big 3. The bottom 5-7 of the table are fairly horrible, but not much more then watching the bottom of any league.

    Like

  • asdasdasd

    good point. ives does make a ton of mistakes tho tbf, this was not one of those cases tho:)

    Like

  • SG

    Kinda sad that one of our up and comers can’t make a bottom feeder in the Prem.
    He’s not really that young either compares to some if other countries young
    talent. Oh well we ‘ll just have to wait
    and see…..

    Like

  • DC Josh

    I like it, I like it a lot. Him and Agboussoumonde on the Portuguese leaders together would be great for both players. As long as Holden is logging minutes I could care less where he goes. Just go somewhere!

    Like

  • vince

    when has any american player ever come out of one of these ‘trials’ with foreign clubs with a contract? Never. If they were good enough they’d just sign them outright.

    Like

  • Andy in Atlanta

    This report is BS… from Coyles mouth yesterday…

    One player who could be about to sign on with Wanderers is United States midfielder Stuart Holden, who has impressed Coyle during a trial with the club.

    “Stuart did well since he came in,” Coyle said. “He’s picked up a little thigh injury in the last couple of days which has curtailed his movement a little bit. But he’s done well and I’ll have a chat with him today and his representative and see where we go from there.”

    Like

  • Jersey Scouser

    If the reports are true I have to hold judgement on this one. We all thought that Gooch going to AC Milan was a good thing. He was getting a little pt. We need Holden to go to a team where he would be the starter the moment he gets off the plane. I’m sure he is up for the challenge but until he is a consistent starter this does not look like a good deal to me.

    Like

  • froboy

    Ricardo Clark close to signing with Eintracht Frankfurt according to a certain Washington Post blogger, would be a solid move to an upper half of the table team in the Bundesliga

    Like

  • rico

    I found this on espn……………..

    One player who could be about to sign on with Wanderers is United States midfielder Stuart Holden, who has impressed Coyle during a trial with the club.

    “Stuart did well since he came in,” Coyle said. “He’s picked up a little thigh injury in the last couple of days which has curtailed his movement a little bit. But he’s done well and I’ll have a chat with him today and his representative and see where we go from there.”

    Like

  • Charles

    I can’t figure out why soccer doesn’t succeed in this country.

    Hopefully he is playing in the US next year, where I can watch him play, rather than in Port,England etc where I can read about it on a blog I love with people that either live in Europe or don’t go to soccer games.

    Like

  • RNG

    From No Short Corners:

    UPDATE: The Holden-to-Braga report is full-on hokum. I do not know where the UK scribes get this stuff. I’ve spoken to the club, who have already made their full allotment of five winter moves (league rules). In a word, Braga says it’s ‘impossible’.

    Like

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