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Mid-Day Ticker: Holden extends Bolton deal, Cummings wins award and more


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In a very short time, Stuart Holden has made a very strong impression with his Premier League club.

Holden signed a three-year extension with Bolton on Thursday that will keep him in England at least through the 2012-2013 season.

Holden, who has become a fixture in Owen Coyle's starting lineup as a central midfielder this season, barely got the chance to play after signing with Bolton in the winter. After suffering a broken leg via a Nigel de Jong tackle in the United States' friendly with the Netherlands in March, Holden was unable to make an impact on the second half of Bolton's season.

After completing his recovery, Holden was named to the United States' World Cup roster over the summer, and he earned a starting position with Bolton that he figures to have for the foreseeable future.

Here are a few more stories to get you through the day:


Nobody in Major League Soccer had a better September than Omar Cummings.

The Colorado Rapids striker scored six goals in four games and was named MLS Player of the Month. Cummings, who also scored for Jamaica in a September friendly, scored two goals in Colorado's victory over Philadelphia Wednesday night. He has 12 goals on the season, which puts him two behind league-leader Edson Buddle.

He'll have a chance to add to his total this weekend when the Rapids host D.C. United.


New York Red Bulls coach Hans Backe has deemed Designated Player Thierry Henry fit to play against the Kansas City Wizards this weekend, according to the team's Twitter feed.

Henry, who was forced to miss New York's victory over Los Angeles last Friday with a sprained knee, has two goals and three assists since joining the Red Bulls.


Seattle Sounders veteran goalkeeper Kasey Keller came up with another highlight reel save against the Chicago Fire, a save that earned him MLS Save of the Week honors for the third straight week.

Keller stuffed Fire midfielder Marco Pappa's 8-yard volley attempt in first-half stoppage time of the teams' match last weekend and is in the midst of his greatest stretch of the season. Keller hasn't yielded a goal in 279 minutes, the last time being when New England's Kheli Dube tallied in the 81st minute of the Revolution's 3-1 victory on Sept. 4.

Here's video of the award-winning save:


Barcelona talisman Xavi has been left out of Vicente del Bosque's squad for Spain's upcoming Euro 2012 qualifiers with a reported case of tendinitis.

The defending European and World Cup champions have matches against Lithuania and Scotland in the second week of October. The midfielders on Spain's roster for those matches are Andres Iniesta, Xabi Alonso, Sergio Busquets and Santi Cazorla. 


What do you think about Holden's contract extension? Do you think Cummings should be in the MLS MVP discussion? Happy to see that Henry won't have to miss more time? What'd you make of Keller's save? Do you see Spain getting upset without Xavi?

Share your thoughts below.


  1. Much as I love Howard, I have to agree re: his positioning, at least at times. The first goal by Ghana comes to mind.

    I’ve only seen snippets of Banks in highlight films. But I agree that Keller’s positioning allows him to make saves that otherwise would be goals. In the famous Gold Cup match against Brazil, he seemed to be in the perfect spot a dozen times.

  2. This is his 3 rd new contract. The one he signed, the 2nd when they renewed him before he recovered from his broken leg, and now the 3 year one. All would come with a pay raise, so he is certainly a long way from his first contract. I would think your guess may be close. As a free agent he is quite a pick up for Bolton.

  3. Did you ever watch Gordon Banks? He was just about the most boring keeper ever because 98% of the saves were just the way you described it “the player shot right at him”.

    It’s called positional sense and the great ones all have it. They make most saves look routine because they position themselves ahead of time to make it that way. The guy who is throwing himself around the box making spectacular save after spectacular save? Well, often that guy is a great athlete but it may also be that he is getting caught out of postion so he HAS TO make a spectacular save. Sooner or later those positional mistakes will cost you more than a lack of athletic ability will cost you.

    That’s why Howard is only a very good to occasionally great keeper, not a consistently great one, like Banks or the 2002 Freidel.

    As you saw in this World Cup, he sometimes loses concentration and positions himself poorly,

  4. rooney’s hand looks wicked tearing at holden’s heart.

    great for holden with the extension, he petrov and lee should make for some good soccer this season.

  5. yes it was right at him, but he was perfectly positioned for the shot he knew was about to come, so Pappa really had no choice but to just blast it. that ball had a ton of pace, and just because keller makes it look easy, doesn’t mean that it is. he also had quality stops all night long that was just one of them

  6. justin braun, brek shea, danny mwanga(hopefully), tristan bowen…
    omar salgado and tony taylor are two U20 nats that i am psyched about

    there are several players to get excited about in our youth NT and some up and comers in MLS that should definitely bloom into quality strikers if everything goes to plan

  7. Is it common practice to not provide a backup jersey for each player with name and number? I know MLS teams are on tight budgets, but it seems like they could spring for backup uniforms for the team.

  8. I am guessing you are referring to Ianni – he had a bad cut above his eye which bled onto his jersey. They had to switch it out with a spare.

  9. Didn’t know they kept that stat. Why don’t the fantasy leagues incorporate it into their games? It sure would make a wider array of players attractive to participants.

  10. I think the deal is that Donovan was lighting it up in the assists category at the same time. Donovan seems to be exhausted and could use a rest. Because he’s running on empty, Buddle isn’t getting the same kind of service.

  11. Buddle was on a scoring rage before the WC. Had 10 or 11 goals and only 3 since. what’s the deal?

    Angel or LeToux will beat him as top scorer if he doesn’t start putting them in the back of the net

  12. Jozy is our no1 striker for the rest of the decade. We don’t have anyone better.

    Davies is months away
    Findley is just garbage
    Buddle and Gomez are good for a year or 2 and than they’re too old
    Ching is too old and fading

    we need youth now

  13. I don’t follow MLS but what young 17-21 year old strikers do we have on the rise? That are good enough for the youth team or the NT or good enough to head to Europe in a year. Just curious

  14. It is tough being a stud.

    Seriously, he does have shutouts in that last three MLS games….and very few goals allowed in the last 11 games.

  15. Fact remains that, when in form, Jozy is best option at target striker that USMNT has. Jozy, if he plays, belongs up front. He’s a target, he’s no Charlie Davies pre-accident. Get him as close to the goal as you can, I say.

  16. Why do people still put Jozy Altidore up front? Put Dempsey up front! He has been playing quality football in the striker role in the best league in the world.

    Edu and Holden should be starting in the midfield, hands down. They are both playing extremely well in the midfield for their club teams.

    Jozy has done absolutely nothing. Does he even get play time at Villareal??

  17. What’s the point of even nominating Keller. No matter how mundane his save might be, if his name is up for voting, he wins, even if there are 4 better saves up for voting.

  18. i should have started saying that I dont like a Jjones edu bradley middle 3. I don’t think any of them are good enough passers or distributors to take on that role full time.

  19. we are so decked out in midfield.

    Donovan, Dempsey, Bradley, Edu, Jones (still to be seen), Holden, Feilhaber, Torres

    plus newbies like Diskerud and several others.

    Going to be really competitive over the next few years

  20. was thinking more of a

    Donovan Dempsey


    Off the bench you have bedoya (true winger), torres, benny (has played out wide for us before). This doesn’t mean that holden cant move outside with benny/torres moving inside later in the game.

  21. If Torres left in January or next summer would he head to Serie A? I doubt he’d play for Chelsea or Man City or even in La Liga if he has to play against Atletico Madrid. I figure Inter or AC or even Juventus.

  22. I don’t recall many Holden doubters. Most thought he was a excellent potential back-up to Dempsey/Donovan after the Gold Cup and before he broke his leg. There was scepticism that he may not recover in time for the WC. That he’s exceeding expectations and performing better than most though does not constitute doubt.

  23. So you’re thinking something like:







    Where would you sub in Benny, Torres, etc…?

    If you use Holden as a Holding Mid than who do you see being the subs/alternates for Dempsey & Donovan?

    Not nocking your suggestion(s) just wondering since we really don’t have Wing Midfielders stacked deep enough. I can only think of Maybe Benny (perfer him centrally), Bedoya (still really green), Mix (Untested), Rogers (Not high on my list), who have the speed, vision, and ability to get forward into the attack and drop back to cover the Aging and/or inexperienced/inconsistent defense.

  24. Good player w/ a cultured right foot (if those exist). I recall many Holden doubters on this site – where are they now? I was not one of them. Shame about the broken leg before the WC.

  25. really wanted ives to talk more about holden last night but he never got around to it. In my mind, holden’s showings are enough for the US to move to a 4-3-2-1 or 4-2-3-1 with him in the middle. He’s been playing great football, and in general, Bolton’s playing an attractive brand of soccer right now

  26. Couldn’t be happier (unless he was back in Houston) for Holden. I read on other blog that Holden is going into this weekend leading the EPL in tackles.. for what it is worth.

  27. I’m happy for Holden. It’s about time an(other?) American gains steady playing time in the Premier League. And Keller is on fire. Great run of form.


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