Thursday Kickoff: Holden returns to action, Dempsey nears comeback and more

Thursday Kickoff: Holden returns to action, Dempsey nears comeback and more

Americans Abroad

Thursday Kickoff: Holden returns to action, Dempsey nears comeback and more

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Stuart Holden 3 (ISIphotos.com)

Photo by ISIphotos.com

Stuart Holden has yet to play for Bolton since joining the club in a free transfer, but he moved a step closer to action after makinga 60-minute appearance for the Bolton reserves on Wednesday.

Holden made it through a start in Bolton's reserve team loss to Manchester City, coming off in the 60th minute. He could make his first-team debut in Bolton's FA Cup fifth-round clash vs. Tottenham.

Here are some other stories to get your Thursday going:

DEMPSEY TO RETURN TO ACTION

Clint Dempsey isn't supposed to be ready to return to action just yet from a sprained PCL suffered last month, but reports surfaced on Wednesday suggesting that he is on track to return ahead of schedule.

The story linked doesn't offer any sources, or anything close to a source (neither do the other stories claiming the same news), but if it is true, then Dempsey could be back on the field for Fulham some time in March.

The timetable isn't that surprising considering sources have identified Dempsey's injury as a mild PCL tear. A return to action two months after the injury wouldn't be that far off the normal projection. That said, an official update on Dempsey's status has yet to be provided publicly by Fulham.

ALSTON TO MISS USMNT CAMP

New England Revolution defender Kevin Alston will miss the start of U.S. national team training camp as he deals with a left hamstring injury that is the same injury that kept Alston from playing in January's exhibition loss to Honduras.

One of the top young right backs in the U.S. pool, Alston could be healthy in time for the U.S. team's upcoming friendly vs. El Salvador on Feb. 21 in Tampa.

TFC ADDS DEFENDER

Toronto FC needs defensive help and found some in the former of Colorado Rapids and former Los Angeles Galaxy defender Ty Harden. TFC acquired Harden from Colorado for a 2011 third-round pick.

Harden was a starter for the Galaxy back in 2007, but left professional soccer in 2008 to pursue philanthropic endeavors. He is back in the league now and while he came relatively cheap, Harden is unlikely to be a serious starting solution for Toronto's back-line.

NASL CLUBS NAME HEAD COACHES

Former MLS veteran Manny Lagos has been named head coach of the NSC Minnesota Stars of the USSF Division 2, the league announced on Monday. Lagos wasn't the only head coach hired. The Edmonton Drillers, a club expected to join Division 2 in 2011, hired current NEC Nijmegen head coach Dwight Lodeweges, a Dutch-Canadian former player for the Drillers. Lodeweges hsa coaches Dutch clubs PSV Eindhoven and FC Groningen.

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