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Americans Abroad: Tuesday Rewind

Stuart Holden 1 (Reuters)

By FRANCO PANIZO

Stuart Holden's road to recovery is officially complete.

Having been sidelined since March with a devastating knee injury, Holden played in his first official match of the season for Bolton Wanderers on Tuesday. The U.S. men's national team midfielder started and went the distance in Bolton's 2-0 triumph over Aston Villa in the third round of the Carling Cup, a promising return for a player looking to get back to the form that had many considering him one of the best midfielders in the Premier League.

Holden's return to the field wasn't the only bit of good news. Robbie Findley once again found the back of the net in Carling Cup action, scoring his third of the tournament and fourth overall this season across all competitions. Findley's goal came on a blast from about 30 yards out, but that wasn't enough for Nottingham Forest to avoid elimation, as it fell to Newcastle United 4-3 on an 120th-minute goal from Fabricio Coloccini.

Here's how the Americans Abroad who had Carling Cup games on Tuesday fared:

CARLING CUP

  • Stuart Holden started and played 90 minutes in Bolton Wanderers' 2-0 win vs.. Aston Villa.
  • Brad Guzan dressed but did not play in Aston Villa's 2-0 loss vs. Bolton Wanderers.
  • Eric Lichaj did not dress for Aston Villa. He is recovering from a hip injury.
  • Brad Friedel did not dress in Tottenham Hotspur's 7-6 penalty kick loss (after a 0-0 draw) vs. Stoke City.
  • Robbie Findley started, played 120 minutes and scored a GOAL in Nottingham Forest's 4-3 extra time loss vs. Newcastle United.

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What do you think of Holden's return? Hoping Findley gets called into the U.S. men's national team?

Share your thoughts below.

Comments

  1. Well the Carling Cup isn’t exactly the same thing as the EPL. Most of the teams rest key players during the early rounds of the cup.

    I think Talisman might be a bit much. Especially since it usually reserved for a much more offensive minded player. Holden really isn’t that kind of player IMHO.

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  2. ร‚ยป(Holden) looking to get back to the form that had many considering him one of the best midfielders in the Premier League.ร‚ยซ

    Wow…did people really say this about Holden, or is this a bit of exuberant homerism?

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  3. Mo-one

    Sure that’s not spelled Moron? Findley is young has played poorly at times but is now playing well. You don’t get extra points for style, a goal is a goal. Did you ever see Gerd Muller play? It’s too early to tell, but if he continues to score at that level he is an asset to the NT. If you were an expert judge of soccer talent, well, you probably wouldn’t be posting on this blog.

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  4. Stu comes back and all of a sudden, Bolton is winning again? Stuart Holden = Talisman. Let’s just hope he can be similarly talismanic (word?) for the MNT.

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  5. I’m guessing we started Orozco Fiscal and he got red carded… haha

    And I think we need more pace, so take Torres off and put Holden there, place Dempsey in that CAM role, and have Shea at LW and Donovan at RW. And, Boca at LCB but I’m guessing you meant to do that originally.

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  6. think on this for a second… provided things keep going the way they are)…

    ———-Altidore————–
    Donovon——-Holden—–Dempsey
    —–M. Bradley—–Torres——-
    Lichaj——Goodson——Chandler
    ———–Howard————–

    subs: Gomez, Agudelo, Davies, Bedoya, Adu, Shea, Beasely, Edu, Onyewu, Bocanegra, Cherundolo, Spector

    funny… I can’t think of a sub keeper right now…

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  7. Good to see Findley getting back in the national team fold. I would love to see Holden in the USMNT picture. The question is who does he partner with? I say Jones.

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  8. give a young promising player a quick ascendency? write players off when they are in a bad run of form or when they’ve left a bad taste in our mouth from a match over two years ago?

    US?

    never….

    Except Bornstein. I don’t care if he becomes reborn as the next Joe Cole, I never want to see that guy in red white and blue again.

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  9. I was just wondering today if Findley might get himself in the USMNT picture with his run of form. I’d like to see him back in a friendly soon if he keeps this up.

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  10. Piling on here a bit, guys…

    To be fair, Holden DID have a really quick ascendancy. If you recall back a few years, some people actually wrote him off as a bust because he didn’t stick in Sunderland–after he was the victim of a violent crime.

    He also wasn’t always in Houston’s starting 11 (thanks in large part to everyone’s favorite, Rico Clark) while in MLS.

    As everyone pointed out, he blew up in the ’09 GC and then went to Bolton where he did very, very well. He is, by any measure, an excellent EPL mid when healthy and, one would imagine, is going to be a near-automatic starter for us.

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  11. lol, thank goodness that’s your opinion. The man is playing in the Championship league….going 120 mins for his club against an adversary like Newcastle United and scoring goals. If he’s not eligible scratch 98% of our MLS Midfielders off the team because he’s playing at a higher standard than they are. Sometimes players can be off because of a number of reasons…eg Dempsey….one of the best players we have, plays insanely for Fulham but struggles to find that dominance with the USMNT. Believe it or not Players can improve, Gomez, Brek Shea (remeber his first game!!!), Torres, Spector are perfect examples. This is not Findley with BB anymore……

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  12. 6. Holden was voted a “1st Half EPL Best-11” midfielder last season.

    7. Holden was voted Player of the Year for Bolton last season — an award voted on BY TEAMMATES.

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  13. I don’t think we’ll see a 4-4-2 anytime soon though. We seem pretty set at having a 4-3-3 or 4-2-3-1 look. But I’m guessing outside forward/winger as well. We’ll see whether he can keep this form though, it’d be nice to see a link of the goal

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  14. If Findley keeps his form up, he’s still not any good and doesn’t belong in Klinsman’s system. So in answer to your question, I’m going to answer: very far away.

    Findley is bad. Like, really bad. Did you see Findley zip in and out of defenders and skillfully slot the ball? No. He kicked, the wind was right, and he got lucky.

    Findley is bad. He’s like the Eddie Johnson GAM of 2011. Sorry Charlie. You had your chance and you blew it. Take your consolation prize and GTFO.

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  15. ….in a 4-4-2 system, he’ll play RM and we’ll be good, even if he comes in as a sub. Imagine what he’ll do to tired CONCACAF LB’s…..

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  16. My question is if Findley keeps his form up, where does he play in Klinsmann’s system? Outside forward? That spot seems to call for more of a winger type who looks to cross rather than a forward.

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  17. Beasley running Havoc on Guadalajara and Findley going the distance scoring on a team like Newcastle united….from 30 yrds out(ok, where is our Robbie Findley and what have you done with our boy, lol!!!). All I see is speed on the flanks, a threat which will be very difficult to contain, especially for CONCACAF teams…..
    Keep it up gents……

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  18. Man, I’ve never seen a guy take more crap from SBI posters, but you really asked for it. On top of a rather ignorant post about one of the best midfielders in our pool, on Bolton, and garnering wide respect from many in the EPL, you also had to harp on the USMNT?? You’re like the Robbie Findley of blog posters NO ONE LIKES YOU [see what I did there? ๐Ÿ˜‰ ]

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  19. Not really.

    Holden was voted best XI of the first half of the Premier League season in a “”””FAN POLL””””” done by a newspaper in England.

    People tend to blow this stuff out of proportion all the time around here, like the guy above who mentioned guys like Jose Antonio Castro, Juan Carlos Valenzuela and Fausto Pinto (among others) were part of Mexico’s “A” team LOL….I mean, Robbie Rogers, Kyle Beckerman and Clarence Goodson played the 09 Gold Cup final yet most people were quick to dismiss them and now they appear to be part of Klinnsman’s “A” team.

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  20. Jeeze, do you ever read about soccer? Stuart burst onto the scene at the 2009 GC and was the best member of that B-/C+ team. Then he started on a premier league team before he got De Jong’d and essentially taken out of the WC. Then he was rated the best player in the PL in December 2010 and later Bolton’s player of the season before he got Johnny Evans’d. He’s been injured, and the timing of his injuries have been unfortunate.

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  21. Wow, I’ve seen some pretty stupid comments on this site, but that definitely takes the cake. He was voted, by coaches and fans and other players in the top 11 in december last year, and even though he missed considerable time due to injury, bolton fans still voted him their MVP for the season, so you’re just really dumb or just don’t watch soccer.

    If he wasn’t injured, he would have started for us in both the WC last summer and GC this summer. You have no clue what you’re talking about

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  22. For someone who calls himself “Soccer Guy” and is presumably American since he visits this site, you don’t seem to follow it very closely.

    Facts:

    1. Holden pretty much singlehandedly dragged a B-team of U.S. players through the 2009 Gold Cup to the final, despite the bad loss against Mexico’s A-team

    2. Holden missed the WC with a broken leg he picked up playing for the USMNT 1st team. No doubt he would have started during the WC.

    3. Holden missed the 2011 Gold Cup with an injury picked up playing for Bolton’s 1st team in the EPL. Prior to his departure, Bolton was tied 0-0 with Manchester United, one of the best teams in the world.

    4. With Holden, Bolton was in 7th or 8th place consistently throughout the majority of the EPL season and made it to the final of the FA Cup. Without Holden, they dropped to 14th and lost big in the FA Cup final to Stoke.

    5. This is the 3rd major injury affecting his soccer career Holden has overcome (although the first wasn’t soccer related). The guy’s a champ.

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  23. He featured for the Olympic team in Bejing, appeared 11 times for the nats in ’09, went from Houston to Bolton and was called for the March friendly in ’10 when DeJong took him out. Still made the WC roster where he wasn’t 100%. Had a hell of a season with Bolton and was a lock for the Gold Cup team and got hurt again. He didn’t feature alot due to some very bad timing.

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  24. There are a lot of reasons to give Findley another look.

    1. He’s relatively young… just turned 26
    2. He’s come back from an injury that took him out for almost a season and has been scoring consistently.
    3. The Championship is at least on par with the SPL and the Scandinavian leagues
    4. The pool of experienced strikers <30 for the U.S. is shockingly shallow. WC experience, even if he didn't impress while getting it, still counts.

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  25. Agree. He had no business at the 2010 WC (too inexperienced, in bad form, was just a bad idea for trying to replace Davies) but that doesn’t mean he can’t improve, learn, and fight his way back onto the scene. It all depends on whether he develops or not.

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  26. any highlights of Findley’s goal??

    and yes, I would like to see Findley back with the nats. I think Klinsman could bring out the best in him…the guy has good qualities.

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  27. Thats a pic of Holden leading an army into battle lol… rather see a player giving their all every minute of every big game in their career like Holden seems to always do.

    Class player who you never have to worry about sleeping on assignments/tracking players and giving up goals in games that matter.

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