Top Stories

Holden continues comeback with latest appearance for Bolton reserves

Holden (Getty Images)

Stuart Holden passed his second test.

Holden started and played 65 minutes in Bolton's 1-1 draw with Rochdale (Bolton won 6-5 in penalties) in a reserve match on Wednesday in rainy conditions. Playing in front of U.S. national team head coach Jurgen Klinsmann, Holden emerged unscathed and is set for the next challenge on his comeback road.

Wednesday's match was the second reserve game in which Holden played, following up his 78-minute performance against Fulham on Aug. 30. The next step for Holden is a return to the first team, something that could happen as soon as this Saturday, when Bolton takes on Manchester United.

What do you think of this development? Think Holden should be included on the roster for Saturday's game?

Share your thoughts below.


  1. Coyle has already stated publicly he won’t be ready this weekend against Manchester, so they won’t wast a roster spot on him. maybe next week though, hopefully

  2. I don’t recall firing off any insults. That said, Holden’s biggest upside is his creativity and distribution. Those things are all mental and won’t disappear due to a knee injury.

    Plus, he received a bone injury, not any major soft tissue damage. No reason he shouldn’t make a full recovery so long as his coaches ease him back in.

  3. I’m not feeling Dempsey in the midfield role that he was inserted to against Belgium, within Klinsmann’s system. I also think him out wide could be losing his value on the national team level.

    I actually hope Dempsey is put up top with Agudelo/Altidore.

  4. Klinsmann is playing a 4-1-2-2-1. I like the commitment to possession Klinsmann brings, and I like the chances this formation has created, but the cutting edge in the final third has simply not been there.

    It starts at forward. Altidore is not quite good enough to be the lone striker. Agudelo might be, one day, and he’s certainly a frisky option off the bench, but right now Clint Dempsey is the best forward in the pool and it’s not close. You really hope youngsters like Omar Salgado emerge here, or you hope Danny Mwanga gets his citizenship fast-tracked. But Dempsey is going to have to do this because no one else can right now.

    The next level are the CAM’s. Torres has looked impressive there. I agree Holden and Freddy Adu are your other two candidates in those spots if you’re forced to play Dempsey up front and right now we don’t have anyone else who can play F consistently. You can play Donovan here as well but I honestly think Donovan is a better, more natural winger and the USA simply does not have another winger to complement Brek Shea, who grabbed the left wing job by the neck and isn’t handing it back anytime soon…Shea might be our most consistently threatening player right now and the player whom other teams most fear. Fabian Johnson is not going to beat out Brek Shea at left wing, period.

    But right wing is a huge dropoff once you get past Donovan. After that you’re down to the likes of Bedoya, Robbie Rodgers, or maybe Beckerman…huge, huge dropoffs. Here’s where you really hope Steve Zakuani gets healthy and decides to play for the USA, or where Andy Najar would have really helped us. There is not a clear successor to Donovan here and we really need to find one.

    The USA has three good holding midfielders and will only play one and carry two per roster. Michael Bradley, Jermaine Jones, and Mo Edu are your options at holding mid and somebody is going to get left off most rosters. I honestly don’t see much separation between any of the three at the moment. Beckerman can also play here and is just fine as well.

    I don’t see how you avoid playing Fabian Johnson at left back. Aside from Johnson the only viable option is Lichaj. Castillo is better than Bornstein but he was a liability too. Cherundolo is hopefully good for another cycle and he and Chandler should hold down the RB spot.

    The real mess, to me, is at CB. Our only decent CB is Bocanegra and he’s distinctly iffy to make it another cycle. You can live with Goodsen as your #3 or better yet your #4 CB but right now we’re having to start him. We really, really need somebody like George John to emerge for us. Orozco-Fiscal was clearly not the answer.

  5. But remember, we have not yet see Donovan and Dempsey together under Klinsmann. The two complement each other well, and I think either one could be playing the lone striker position with the other on the right wing, maybe alternating during the course of a game. I have had enough of seeing Agudelo and Altidore struggle on the top spot. I like both of them, but neither yet has the skills to carry that burden alone.

    The US has a wealth of talented midfielders, Klinsmann needs to put them to use. I would like to see a front line with Brek Shea on the left, and Dempsey and Donovan alternating at striker and right attacking midfield. Freddy Adu could possible play striker, or he could be an attacking midfielder. And Altifore and/or Agudelo can be on the bench and brought in second half if necessary.

    Playing as offensive/attacking midfielders behind the front line could be guys like Torres, Holden, and maybe Chandler on the right as long as Klinsmann opts to keep Dolo as starting RD. Potential holding midfielders are Edu, Beckerman, MB, and Jones.

    Those of you advocating MB to take over the role Torres has played the past two and one-half games–not gonna happen. We saw what MB did in that role the first half against Mexico it was not convincing. It appears right now that of the faces we have seen three games in to the Klinsmann era, Chandler, Torres and Shea will be starters if they can continue with the fine form they have desplayed thus far. Beckerman also has looked good, and is heading that direction, and Edu was impressive.

    MB’s best chance of winning a starting spot on the team is as a holding/defensive midfielder. He does not have the speed, vision for passing or ball-handling skills to play central offensive midfielder in the Klinsmann system. I also could see MB as a defender. I hope he can find a role on the team, his experience and fighting spirit are valuable to the team. But there are still faces we have not seen yet try out for the team under Klinsmann. No free tickets on this team. Everyone is going to have to play regularly at club level, show good form, and come to camp ready to fight for a spot.

  6. I agree with you regarding their different styles. Torres is more vision and long ball oriented, whereas Adu is far more of an in your face attacking player. In essence, the sequence would be Torres passes to Adu, Adu jukes one defender and passes it across to Altidore…GOAL! lol

    Anyways, with the addition of Fabian Johnson, Shea, Bedoya, and Klestjan, I see a lot more forward movement with Dempsey and Donovan. Our middle will consist of Holden and 1-2 others (namely Torres, Adu, Edu, Bradley, Jones, and/or Mixx), depending on the formation.

    I think we have a bright future. It will take some time, but as we continue to gain team chemistry, and we add some more of the younger players, we will have a really solid mix of creativity, hustle, strength, etc. with will ultimately start giving us an edge on the international stage.

  7. Totally agree with you. Adu is a threat in that role. Hopefully well see Adu in the #10 role in the friendly with Honduras and my other country Ecuador : ) And Jozy does need to work on his stamina and work ethic bcuz he does got the skills.

  8. On the other hand, Taz always reminds me of Marvell Wynne. Daffy may not have his speed, but he knows the game. Pluto may be ponderous, but he’s got a nose for goal..or a nose for something, anyway.

  9. From what I’ve seen from the Gold Cup, this might be the strongest U.S. team when healthy (4-2-3-1). The backline is subject to debate at CB and RB.

    -Cherundolo and Chandler are the best outside backs for the U.S. but Klinsmann should have let Cherundolo play LB against Belgium instead. Chandler is the future at RB and Dolo is a stop gap anyways. Also Chandler has more to offer going forward on the right side than Steve. At LB, Lichaj may be hurt and right footed but he is the best option at left back I have seen thus far.

    -The difference between Torres and Adu is that Adu is an attacking player who takes people on 1 v 1. Torres is more of a deep-lying playmaker who can string passes together from the defensive midfield. I would like to see both of them on the field at same time but not everyone can play. Maybe a sub role for Torres where he can come on when the other team is tired is where he eventually ends up.

    -I was tempted to bench Donovan for Shea but I think him and Deuce will be fine when the rest of the first team lines up with them and they don’t feel like they have to carry the team by themselves.

    -I don’t know why but I think Spector at centerback seems like a real option to me. He was good in 2009 at RB but has struggled since with speed. However, he can pass the ball from the back effectively, won’t be as exposed in the middle as opposed to the wing. At least until someone like John, Ream, Gonzalez, or whoever Klinsmann is looking at is ready; I think it’s worth a trial for a friendly. And lets not kid ourselves, he’s low on the midfield depth chart with Holden, Bradley, Torres, Edu, Jones, Beckerman, Johnson, etc. fighting for playing time.


  10. For cryin’ out loud, fischy! 😉

    Pluto over Lightning McQueen!?!? Daffy Duck over Taz?!?!? For crying out loud, you can’t teach speed!

    And Elmer Fudd at LCB?!?!? Do you even watch the game? Optimus Prime’s first touch might be a bit sketchy, but he has won virtually EVERY 50/50 ball all season long!

  11. Fred,
    I’m going to overlook your backline, (which I sit here scratching my head about), but let’s focus on Adu.

    I’m in agreement with you on Adu in the #10 role….in the Klinsman system.
    Adu, over anyone else in the pool has the skill/mindset to play the #10 role…(with Donovan a close 2nd). One only has to look at the body of work of Adu in the U20 WC, in the Gold Cup this last year, in his short stints in the role with his club teams to see that he is consistently dangerous in the role….His frailties are also well known, he’s knocked off the ball easily, if he doesn’t get the foul calls, he becomes a liability. Still, mark my words, (and echoing Fred’s opinion), Adu will shortly get a couple of games in the role and do well.
    If that happens, I’m also going to go with you on Altidore, who will not have the commitment to D to pair with the defensive liability that an Adu is. If that is the case, I think Dempsey is a good bet…or Agudelo could grow into the role.

    The one thing that Jozy did impress me with was his improvement in his hold up play. If he can have the same rate of improvement this year AND build his stamina to work the defensive side of the ball….you could see a very dangerous combination in Adu and Altidore…and that is a lot of ‘IF’s” to bet on…:)

  12. Quote from Klinsi:

    “He’s getting closer and closer, but I’m not looking to get him in United States squad as soon as possible. He’s certainly in my plans, but I’m sure I’m one of many who don’t want to rush him back.

    “We’ll follow what Bolton want, because they know him best. I’ll be in contact with Owen and I’m sure we’ll have plenty of dialogue over the coming months.”

    Not sure if he’ll get called up in October or November with that kind of statement


Leave a Comment