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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. I think Ives was favoring Holden’s inclusion because he’s easily one of the 23 best players in the country. If we’re going to play Dempsey on the right, then Holden is his back-up. There’s no one else who’s as good at that spot right now.

  2. Look, regardless if the kid is a super star or not, the US needs to start getting more talent in full caps for friendly games so we lock down players that have potential. This kid might not be a great player or play for a great team, heck, he hasnt ever stepped foot inside US soil, but he has an opportunity to be a dual citizen so we should take this opportunity to cap him and then if he doesnt work out then no harm to the US.

  3. I’m with Montana Matt and Franky Simek. No one said the kid would be an immediate starter or anything completely irrational. It was just eluded to that he’s a consistent player in one of the top European leagues and should clearly merit a spot in the USMNT pool to prove himself (if he wants to join the Nats of course). What’s so illogical about that? MM has made a solid points about our other Bundesliga players and our lack of depth in the position…. and just saying the name Marvell Wynne makes me want to vomit. All you’ve come up with Easy Answer is “young and starting in a foreign country doesn’t make you good” and “where’s your logic”. Not very persuasive. I do see why you’d be hesitant, but I don’t agree with it.

  4. Can we get something straight here? Let me describe USMNT’s LB and RB situation for you. In a nutshell, it’s lousy. Following me so far?

    Now, America’s domestic league is MLS. If I had to rank MLS compared to European leagues, it would be below EPL, La Liga, Serie A, Bundesliga, Ligue 1, SPL, and most of Championship, by a good stretch. Still with me? This isn’t an opinion, it’s just truth.

    Now, we have Daniel Williams who ****ing starts for a German Bundesliga team at 20 ***ing years old who could become an American international player if he got a call-up. Re-read this paragraph for emphasis.

    Marvell Wynne vs. Daniel Williams? You’re right though, luckily, the people in power of U.S. soccer make such EXCELLENT call-up decisions. Jimmy Conrad, Sacha Kljestan, Wynne. Those players always work out, you’re right.

  5. Well, Jones did spend part of his childhood in the US, according to this:

    Williams, on the other hand, has never been to the US, and doesn’t have a US passport yet. And he seemed pretty noncommittal in the YA interview, more as if he was trying to keep his options open than as if he was favoring playing for the US.

    I’ll be (happily) surprised if he ever suits up for us.

  6. And recently in the weekly best XI. So yeah, obviously he’s got to come play in MLS before we’re willing to entertain him in camp.

  7. Wow, a little testy are we over a simple call up?

    No one is saying make him the starting RB against England. Just a camp invite to see how he good he is, how well he fits into the system, our team, etc.

    And it’s not starting “in a foreign country.” It is starting in the Bundesliga, the 4th best league in Europe according to the UEFA coefficient.

  8. Um…care to offer any specific examples of where my logic is off? Clearly yours is the minority opinion for this thread. What more would this kid have to do to merit a call up in your opinion? Considering the fact that America’s other two Bundesliga players (Bradley and Cherundolo) are lock call ups, if not starters, I think we would be pretty damn foolish to let this kid slip through our fingers. Your retort?

  9. Any idea if Holden will be put straight into the starting lineup? ala Donovan. Or will he have to work his way in? Here’s hoping Coyle has the confidence in him to put him right away.

  10. Being young and starting in a foreign country does NOT necessarily equal great player. And it definitely doesn’t equate to a must-be-called-in player. Sorry for asking for a REASON.

  11. Again, because he’s a 20 year old RB who made the Bundesliga best 11 last week. What is wrong with you that you can’t see why we’re clamoring for BB to call him up?

  12. Ives, I too would love a new “refresh system.” I mainly peruse your website from my mobile now. And everytime I want to reload the page I have to tediously scroll back to the top and hit the reload icon, wait, and then tediously scroll back to where I last was reading. If instead the site could have a refresh option at the end of all comments my iPhone would remember where I last was for me and that wouldn’t take nearly ad much effort, especially while I’m sneaking quick looks at work! Thanks.

  13. What has he done to deserve being called into the USMNT? Are you serious? Any 20 year old American starting in the Bundesliga deserves a camp invite at the very, very least. Marvell Wynne (who is not at all good enough for the Intl. level) started against Honduras last match, so it’s not as though we couldn’t use the help. But, aside from being a 20 year old who’s starting in the Bundesliga, he’s also playing very well. He made the Bundesliga best 11 last week.

    Honestly, I can’t believe you are asking why he deserves a call up. For me the only question is why not.

  14. That’s a great article on Williams. I’m sure (I hope) the USSF will be contacting him soon. Fingers crossed, he seems like a great prospect.

  15. Actually Omar, I was thinking of the time before the tryout and then Bolton contract. It seems to me that Ives was favoring Holden’s inclusion in the USMNT and generally seemed favorably disposed towards him.

    My only point was that I believe I was in the minority in not thinking Stu was ‘all that with chips’. Again, I’ll be happy to be proven very wrong.


  16. The most encouraging comments about his potential have come from the Bolton Manager name?, who believs his full potential could be really high

  17. Ives, any plans on upgrading this “comments” feature on your blog? Whenever people start posting in great numbers under a post (for example, yesterday’s Wednesday Soccer Running Commentary post had over 280 comments), it is difficult to navigate through all the comments. (not to mention we have to constantly refresh the page)

  18. That would be huge. He might even be ready to contribute this year, though I doubt an approach would be made so quickly. It would be ironic, though — losing those guys who spent significant parts of their youth here and played here as kids, and getting a guy who grew up entirely in Germany. Like Jones.

  19. What has he done to deserve being called into the USMNT? Seriously. What has he done? Simply playing overseas does not mean you belong on the national team.

  20. I remember Harden. I heckled him at a Rapids games in 07 for no reason. He appreciated the attention and smiled back at my whole section who eventually joined me.

  21. I saw that yanks abroad interview as well. I’d really like to hear Ives weigh in on this though. After missing out on players like Subotic, Rossi, and Ibisevic, I feel like we should be doing everything in our power to convince Williams to suit up for the Yanks.

  22. I’ve not been that high on Young Stuey but I freely admit I’m REALLY interested to see how he does with Bolton. Everybody, including Ives, has been pretty high on the kid and I will be oh-so-happy to be proven wrong.

  23. I’ve seen this posted on several threads, but I’ve read in several different spots that he is planning on playing for Germany. Besides, he’s probably hoping to avoid the injury that seems to come with USMNT starter kit these days.

  24. “…Alston could be healthy in time for the U.S. team’s upcoming friendly vs. El Salvador on Feb. 21 in Tampa.” has it on the 24th:
    U.S. Men
    vs. El Salvador
    Raymond James Stadium; Tampa, Fla.
    Feb. 24, 2010 @ 7 p.m. ET

    Scared me ‘cuz I’m traveling on the 21st.

  25. Re: Alston missing camp due to injury:

    Ives, have you heard anything regarding the international status of Daniel Williams? Williams is a 20 year old RB starting for Freiburg in the Bundesliga. It is my understanding that he has both German and American citizenship. Any chance he gets called into the next camp? I don’t know how the US can afford not to give this kid a look. He has to better than Wynne or Alston.


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