By IVES GALARCEP
When Jurgen Klinsmann sang the praises of Stuart Holden a week ago, and pointed out that the last thing Holden needed after a year and a half injury layoff was rest, it seemed like Klinsmann was suggesting that he really wanted Holden to be a part of the U.S. Men’s National Team set-up sooner rather than later.
Those suspicions were proven to be justified on Thursday when Klinsmann announced that he would be calling in Holden for the USMNT camp in May ahead of friendlies and World Cup qualifiers in May and June, while also revealing that Holden would be a part of the national team’s Gold Cup set-up.
“We’ve been in touch with Stuart throughout this whole injury period,” said Klinsmann. “The last couple of months have given us a lot of positive signals.
“I spoke to his coach at Bolton, and spoke to his coach at Sheffield Wednesday where he played some important minutes and games while on loan,” Klinsmann said. “He’s on his way back.
“That being said, we want to have him back in our picture. We are going to bring him in for the May-June camp, and also for the Gold Cup.”
Klinsmann had made it clear that European-based players would be unlikely to pull double duty this summer, but cited Holden’s unique case. He had been sidelined for a year and a half recovering from a major knee injury, and this summer’s USMNT duty will serve as a part of his recovery, which still continues as he works his way back to the level he enjoyed when he was considered one of the better midfielders in the English Premier League.
“We have the backing from his club that we can play him through the summer,” Klinsmann said. “He knows there won’t be big vacation time, and he said ‘I don’t want vacation anymore. I had one and a half years off!’ So that’s exciting news for us, having him back in the group and seeing him and evaluating where he’s at, and helping him become the old Stuart Holden, and even better because he’s still so young.”
What do you think of this development? Excited to hear Holden is back in the USMNT mix? Anxious to see him in a national team jersey again? Think Klinsmann is rushing things, or are you excited about this move?
Share your thoughts below.