European Soccer

Mid-Day Ticker: Holden gets a chance, Everton fans get creative and more



Stuart Holden's wait appears to be over.

According to Bolton's team Web site, Holden will be included in the first team for Wednesday's FA Cup tilt with Tottenham.

Bolton manager Owen Coyle said at his Tuesday press conference that the American midfielder has worked shown well in practice and has earned his chance to contribute.

The fact that fellow on-loaners Jack Wilshere and Vladimir Weiss are cup-tied to Arsenal and Manchester City, respectively, also bodes well for Holden, who appears to be healthy after battling a thigh injury.

Holden was also featured on the team's site, talking about his thoughts leading up to the match with Spurs.

In other Wednesday soccer news:


Landon Donovan's success at Everton has been well-documented. The team has played its best soccer ever since the American's short-term loan began, and he recently won the club's Player of the Month award.

With his loan set to expire so he can return to Los Angeles for the (scheduled) start of the Major League Soccer season, Everton fans are making a final plea for Donovan to stay in England.

About 5,000 fans – and counting – have joined the "Keep Landon Donovan at Everton!!" group on Facebook. The group has zero bearing on whether his loan gets extended, regardless of how many fans join. The ongoing MLS labor talks clearly have more to do with that than anything else. But for a player who wanted to prove his worth overseas after a couple of disappointing tries, Donovan has certainly made a name for himself at Goodison Park and has stated that he is more than open to a return to the Toffees someday.


Despite being healthy, Liverpool striker Fernando Torres is not going to be rushed back into the Reds' lineup, so says manager Rafa Benitez.

Torres, who played 16 minutes in Liverpool's 0-0 draw with Manchester City, missed 11 of a possible 27 league matches with a lingering knee injury. He has managed to score 12 goals in his 16 appearances and would figure to bolster Liverpool's chances at securing a Champions League spot for next season, but Benitez is being cautious with the Spanish international.

Liverpool faces Unirea Urziceni in their Europa League second-leg match on Thursday before facing Blackburn in league play on Sunday.


Arsenal and Dutch striker Robin Van Persie could return to action sooner than expected as he recovers from an ankle injury.

Van Persie was injured in a November friendly against Italy and suffered ligament damage in his ankle, but Netherlands coach Bert van Marwijk claims that his star forward is progressing quickly and could return in early April. Initial thoughts were that we would return at the end of April at the earliest.

He clearly won't be in the lineup when the United States faces the Netherlands in a friendly on March 3, but a healthy Van Persie boosts the Netherlands' chances in South Africa.


More details are emerging after Glasgow Rangers goalkeeper Allan McGregor was attacked outside a Scotland nightclub over the weekend. McGregor suffered eye and facial injuries that required hospital care.

The incident comes just weeks after U.S. international DaMarcus Beasley had his BMW set on fire.

Rangers is staying mum on the issue and hasn't commented on whether McGregor will have to miss Sunday's Old Firm match with rival Celtic.

Rangers holds a seven-point lead over second-place Celtic in the Scottish Premier League standings and also has a game in hand.


Happy to see Holden finally get a chance to play for Bolton? Dreaming for Donovan's loan to get extended? Think Liverpool can crack the Top 4 in England? Are you worried for Beasley and Maurice Edu considering all the violence involving Rangers players?

Share your thoughts below.

  • art

    “The team has played its best soccer ever since the American’s short-term loan began”

    c’mon Avi, you need to research the history of Everton a little bit before making silly statements like that.

    (SBI-Art, you’re reading that sentence wrong. You’re reading it as “best soccer ever”, when it was “best soccer” “ever since”. Get the difference?)


  • BrianK

    The London Times had this to say:

    “”I put a team out I believed were good enough to win,” Coyle said, even though Kevin Davies, Johan Elmander, Lee Chung Yong and Paul Robinson were on the substitutes’ bench. Coyle’s rotation policy at least meant a debut for Stuart Holden, who could be part of the United States team who face England in the World Cup finals in June, and he put in a composed shift in midfield.””

    Not to bad for Stu.


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