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

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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:


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.


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.


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.


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.



  1. Actually, his name is Michael Hoyos. Seems like he is very good player. No doubt there will be a struggle between Argentina and the USA to get him into the national side. The only thing that makes the USMNT look good or bad is their play and results.

    Only an idiot thinks MLS compares to the Bundesliga or the Argentine first division. The USSF doesn’t ignore these people In 2006, Bruce Arena tried to get 16-year-old Giusseppe Rossi in to the World Cup side, even though he’d never played for the USMNT.

    Your comment is a bit silly. It’s like suggesting Canada didn’t want to get Owen Hargreaves to play for their national team just because he was playing in the EPL for ManUtd, instead of for MLS or Canadian USL team.

  2. Not starting in a foreign league. Starting in the Bundesliga. At only 20 years of age. That’s the kind of thing that got everyone excited about Neven Subotic last season. Look where he’s at now — starting for a national side that is being talked about as a dark-horse contender for the World Cup title.

  3. Williams’ father is a member of the US Military. If that doesn’t make him an true American then nothing does. Anyway, it’s not like we need to apply some sort of American purity test to see if a player can wear the red, white, and blue. The equation is simple: 1.) Does player X want to play for us? 2.) Is player X good enough to play for us? 3.) Does player X qualify for a US passport? If the answer is “Yes” to all three questions, then by all means, let’s cap player X.

    I also think it’s somewhat naive when you say “we are past the days of poaching a player who other than being born from an american citizen is not remotely American.” We can and should be poaching any player who can contribute in any capacity. I for one, would certainly love to have Subotic, Rossi, and Ibisevic making the trip to South Africa with us. But you would disagree apparently.

  4. You mean besides the fact he starts on a team in the German first division?

    I think the point is, ANYONE is a better option than Marvell “oops, where did my man go?” Wynne.

  5. I am just saying… I am think we are past the days of poaching a player who other than being born from an american citizen is not remotely American… Gone are the days of David Regis and despite my love for them… Roy Wegerle, Ernie Stewart etc… We have enough home grown talent to where we can stop worrying about Subtovic and others who only partly grew up here.. Now Rossi is a different story because he was born and raised here and we wasted significant US Soccer money on him…

    Wynne has a better touch than people give him credit for and I thought he was a bright spot in the Olympics… I think he will play a roll in 2014…

    Also FYI… for all the hype about Jermaine Jones… if they guy cant even get back on the field after 6 months from a simple stress fracture.. I am not sure he is making our team ahead of Edu, Clark etc…

  6. Recent injuries at Bolton might open things up for Holden. Fans on Bolton messageboards are pining for Holden to get a shot to see if he can ease their injury concerns. Maybe they’ll move Lee into the middle of the park and let Stuey give it a shot on the right. Or maybe he gets a shot in the middle (seems unlikely). In any case, I’m very, very interested to see what he does, either as a starter or sub. I have high hopes.

  7. I don’t think anyone is trying to write off Wynne. He’s a decent MLS RB and has freakish, but unfulfilled potential. On the other hand, Wynne is already capped with the Yanks, and is a know quantity, whereas Daniel Williams is niether. Even though playing in the Holland friendly wouldn’t cap-tie Williams, we urgently need to get him integrated into the US set up before we lose him to Germany.

  8. OK…Andy Lets look at what you just said. “Marvell Wynne who with the right training & attitudes has attributes to be on of the most dangerous wingback in the world in a frew years…you can coach pace & strength..if he gets to Europe soon he will be reall good quick…”

    1) Wynne is 23.7 years old. Williams is 20 years old. Obviously younger right?

    2) Wynne…”If he gets to Europe”, Williams is in Europe. Bundes better than MLS right?

    3) Wynne will get good quick in Europe… Williams IS good in Europe.

    4) Wynne’s fast but donesnt have touch or a great understanding of the game. Williams…Starting in the Bundas,I don’t think a starter in the Bundas is ignorant of the game, lacking technical ability, or speed. Do you?

    5) Wynne plays Right Back…Williams plays right back and Defensive Mid. Versitility is good right?

    Any way you look at the equation Wynne is less than Willams. When one of the USMNT problems is Depth & Experiance in positions why on earth wouldn’t we want to at least try and get him a young up-and-coming player to join us. Remember you have to look beyond this years WC an onto the 2014 and 2018. Short Sightedness is one of our other problems here in the US. We need to look at who’s going to replace the superstars of today when they retire or are not available due to injury.

  9. and as far as people saying Wynne is to old to learn to play soccer, Eddie Johnson was an athletic freak and scored back to back hat tricks in the MLS while also rampaging in CONCACAF, and for folks who think scoring against CONCACAF competition doesn’t prove anything, look at Donovan; for a while, those were the only teams he scored against, until he got a confidence boost, and then he starting popping off. So if Wynne gets some technique and soccer IQ with some confidence, which he doesn’t seem short of, he should be a fine player in 1-2 years.

  10. Re: Daniel Williams

    Starting for a team in the German Bundesliga is no small task. Even Benny Feilhaber and Landon Donovan(twice) couldn’t cut it, although HSV, Bayern Leverkusen and Bayern Munich are probably harder to break into. A lot of the reason people want Williams over Wynne is because the technical and tactical aspects seem to be better engrained in Daniel’s game, while Marvel is too dependent on his athleticism. At the same time, Wynne, I would argue, needs this camp more than Williams does. If Daniel is getting playing time and training in one of the best leagues in the world, why bother him for a cap that he may not get, let alone be ready for? Bob would be doing him a service by leaving him at Freiburg to continue improving and calling him up when he’s ready to be cap-tied and start making an impact on this team.

  11. Ives – what are your thoughts on the Minnesota’s new name/badge? i was hoping for North Star FC – too bad it didn’t work out.

  12. Well, I often agree with your postings, A-in-A…but this time, not so much. I think EJ has the talent to be on an EPL roster but that head of his seems a bit…fragile. The lack of confidence, playing scared, often playing lazy, and lack of a ‘soccer iq’ just seems to doom him to lower tier leagues.

    No malice against the guy, but really, other than one good stretch of WCQs, he really has been disappointing.

    Just one guy’s opinion.


  13. His technical speed is really poor, though, and he has lead feet. Nothing I’ve seen in his play with the Nats has indicated he has a clue as to positioning or the ability to read play.

    Guy is too old to learn to play soccer.

  14. Eddie Johnson could easily warrant a spot on an EPL roster… He played for a top 10 side, yup Fulham is now officially a top 10 side not a bottom feeder… not a relegation threatened side… Eddie is better than 4-5 stirkers currently starting in the Prem on a regular basis… Eddie is getting regular pitch time now in Greece which is a lot better league then people give it credit for… Eddie just had bad luck and a lot of tactical learning to make up…he has done that and will be a better player for it.

  15. I love how you guys put down Marvell Wynne who with the right training and attitudes has attributes to be one of the most dangerous wingbacks in the world in a few years… you can coach world class pace and strength… if he gets to Europe soon he will get real good real quick…

  16. Yeah, Chris, that’s what I have been questioning. Whether he IS actually one of the best 23. Or more accurately, is he one of the best 8-10 MFs in our pool. Given the flexibility of LD, Dempsey, and even Bradley, the question becomes is he needed?

    Now, if an EPL coach think’s he rates a spot then he probably should be playing for the US. But then again, EPL managers have thought Eddie Johnson rated being on a roster too. 🙂

    I think I was wrong about Holden….we shall see.

  17. Caps in friendlies now don’t cap-tie a player to a country. It has to be a competitive game(Gold Cup, Confederations Cup, World Cup Qualifying).

  18. Anyone seen Euan Holden play? The kid is going to play for Vejle BK in the Danish league. Great move.

    I can’t believe how many players we have in Europe today. I know for a fact we have about 20 players alone in the Belgium leagues. Most in the Rangers of Belguim.

  19. Just so its clear the january camp is for MLS based players and scandanavian based players. SO he couldn’t have been called up, The next game is not on a fifa day he couldn’t be called up. You guys argue non points, calling up guys who have done well in the domestic league to a camp for domestic players is not an issue. This guy just came on the scene when exactly should he be called up? whens the next camp for players trying to break in? Exactly, you guys get worked up over nothing, and RB isn’t even his preferred or natural position.

  20. Fabian Johnson has been very involved with the German Youth Teams so he’s probably focused on playing for Germany.

    Still until that full official (friendlies don’t count) senior cap comes he’s technically still eligible

  21. 20yrs old, playing in one of the top leagues in the world, and starting for his team at RB,… yeahhhhh…i think there’s your reason.

    MLS or Bundes?? HMMMM.. hard choice

  22. Fabian Johnson from Wolfsburg and Daniel Williams from SC Freiburg are both young, strong defenders with American/German parents, maybe we could get both of them. Fabian Johnson has already made 137 professional appearances in Germany and is only 22!! It seems everyone already knows about Williams.

  23. see this the stupid way of thinking that is making the USNMT look bad. We have to give a chance to any of our youth and if we have kids that are playing in better league they The USSF should take a look at them. And then we wonder why they want to play for other country cause the USNMT never gave them a call-up or simply ignore them. But the way there is this kid playing in Argentina that playing for Estudiante de la Plata. YES the same team that played against Barcelona in the Clubs Cup. His Name is Micheal Hoya and he is an American/Argentinian. Good player.

  24. Williams should make the roster for SA if given the permits and the chance to come to camp. Watch him play and argue against me. Bundesliga is the 3rd best league in my book. Just watch some if the games abs you’ll see how it’s better than most people think.
    There’s a reason they have THE HIGHEST attendance in all of Europe.

  25. I don’t see anyone calling him a great player.

    However, there has not yet been a player who is a reasonably consistent starter in one of the world’s top four leagues whose ability hasn’t warranted a call up. (Maybe Cory Gibbs when he first hit the scene in Germany, but he did warrant a call up then in my mind) Maybe Williams will actually fit that description, but based on what we know now, and based on the club histories of US players, a call up for a look seems perfectly reasonable to discuss.

  26. Seriously. Any US player getting regular playing time in a top four league is an automatic call up, with the exception of Friedel, who happens to be retired from international play. I don’t see how the statement that Williams should get a call up – if he a) gets his passport and b) agrees to play for us – could be at all controversial.

  27. is it more is williams the complete opposite of Jones. Jones doesnt speak fluent englsih but goes to U.S. every now and then. he is injured and older. Williams speaks fluent english but has never set foot on the U.S. is young and is fit.

    ps he can just pickup his passport if he wants to because he has citizenship


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