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Mid-Day Ticker: Holden commits to Bolton, Argentina alters format & more

Holden (Getty Images)

Stay up, or go down, Bolton can count on Stuart Holden to stick around.

The U.S. midfielder, who is continuing his comeback from fall knee surgery, pledged his future to the club regardless of what happens in its battle against relegation. In order to stave off the drop and remain in the Premier League, Bolton need to defeat Stoke City on Sunday while hoping that Queens Park Rangers lose to Manchester City.

"There’s nothing I can do, and that’s the hardest part for me," Holden told The Bolton News. "I can’t affect the results on the pitch in terms of playing. But I am happy at Bolton Wanderers, and I know that this is the right place for me. I’m a part of this club, and you live and die by that. You ride the high waves and you ride the low ones."

Here are a few more stories from around the soccer world:

ARGENTINA REVERTING TO ONE CHAMPION

For 21 years, Argentina has crowned an apertura and a clausura champion, but that won't be the case next season. 

The country is going to continue having two seasons but only one official champion after the country's federation approved a switch to a different title format. The two seasons will be called Inicial and Final, with the winners of each meeting in a winner-take-all championship.

The format change won't have an effect on the country's Copa Libertadores berths, as the first-place finishers of the Inicial and Final will still qualify for the tournament.

MONTERREY, AMERICA SET FOR LIGUILLA SEMIFINAL

Mexico's clausura liguilla continues Wednesday night with the first leg of the semifinal between Monterrey and Club America (10 p.m., Telefutura).

Both clubs advanced to the semifinals at the expense of Americans, as CONCACAF Champions League winner Monterrey downed Tijuana and eliminated Joe Corona, Edgar Castillo and Greg Garza, while America topped Pachuca and midfielder Jose Francisco Torres.

The other semifinal kicks off Thursday night, with Santos Laguna and Tigres UANL meeting in a rematch of the apertura final, which was won by Tigres.

PLAYER BANNED FOR THROWING BOTTLE AT REF

Don't throw a water bottle at a referee. Granada midfielder Dani Benitez learned that the hard way, as he was banned three months by the Spanish federation for doing so in the club's 2-1 loss to Real Madrid on Saturday.

Despite being in 15th place, Granada is locked in a relegation battle ahead of Sunday's season finale against Rayo Vallecano and will be without Benitez along with three other players who were suspended for their actions in the altercation with referee Clos Gomez after the match.

Benitez will serve the beginning of his suspension during the season finale and complete it after the start of next season. 

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What do you make of Holden's remarks? Do you like the new format in Argentina? Who do you see advancing to the Mexican liguilla final? Think Benitez' ban was deserved?

Share your thoughts below.

Comments

  1. @Adam, and ehhh, you two are hilarious. So West Brom, Norwich and Swansea are not touching a guy who is an okay player and has a history of being on the sideline.

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  2. so, you’re saying he’s injury prone for getting his face smashed by a bottle outside a bar and suffering two terrible reckless tackles. you are stupid

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  3. De Jong has tackled literally hundreds of players, if not more, over the years. They haven’t all wound up with broken legs.

    This isn’t about whether De Jong and others hunt down Stu on purpose or whether he is a great guy.

    He gets hurt. A lot. At very bad times.He has missed a hell of lot of time. And at 26 he ain’t getting any younger.

    Anyone who doesn’t think he is injury prone isn’t paying attention.

    To save your feelings let’s just say he is unlucky.

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  4. Exactly, QPR is at Man City with the title on the line for the latter, while Bolton has a manageable away at Stoke. Barring a shocker in the other game, if Bolton wins, they’re staying up.

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  5. If Bolton go down, and Stuey comes back next season, he can move in January if he shows that he’s back to his old self and promotion doesn’t look assured, or some bigger team in the EPL wants him.

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  6. i actually thing a prem team would take a chance on him. swansea, west brom, norwich, and teams toward the bottom could/maybe would have made a low ball type bid at him. if he could find his old form he would obviously be an asset for most teams. and for some of you to call him not injury prone is laughable, kid gets hurt on the field every season and even gets his eye socket damaged in a bar fight, cant keep himself safe while hes even having a pint

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  7. My comment would be that Holden, like Torres, when used centrally is a one-/two-touch player who likes to play Barca-style possession soccer. Fair or unfair players like that often get tackled hard because you know they won’t have the ball long otherwise. It’s not so much choosing his battles as that he likes to work the ball in and out of tight spaces — a laudable talent — but sometimes those legs around you get close enough to chop.

    Depending if Holden has wheels left I’d like to see him on a wing. Both he and Agudelo can strike a cross, and Holden when first in Houston was Mullan’s RM understudy. Only when DeRo got traded and we needed a playmaker did he get shifted inside, and I always felt like it was a waste of his talents, relatively speaking.

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  8. Isn’t fair to call him injury prone? Before he arrived in Houston he’d already gotten his face smashed and suffered a leg injury that absorbed most of his Sunderland career…..oh, yea, people forget about that….why he was in Houston rebooting for a first time.

    Now he’s in Bolton and has suffered a broken leg with the US plus the knee injury courtesy of Man U plus the re-aggravation that cost him the rest of the season. I know DeJong isn’t his fault but he’s been hurt A LOT. No 2010 WC despite being one of the prize pupils at the time…..even the oft-maligned John O’Brien at least had a 2002 WC window where we saw a glimpse.

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  9. Well, the De Jong tackle was hardly his fault. The Evans tackle was an aggressive challenge by him, but he often wins many of those. I believe he was the leading tackler in the premier league to that point.
    I dunno, if he had played for a longer stretch maybe he would have eventually gotten better at choosing his battles.

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  10. In related news Tim Ream has committed his services to Bolton.

    “Like he had options??” rang out loudly.

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  11. He doesnt have options. Sorry. Thats why we want them to stay up. & even if they go down the Championship maybe a good place for him to make his way back to full strength. Truth of the matter is, no club is going to dole out cash for a player who’s been injured for so long & likely wont even be fully fit during the transfer window.

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  12. Yes, he had options. He did not have to be smart enough to make the statement that he did. If he really doesnt have better club options, which may or may not be true, then what he said was the smartest thing he could do.

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  13. Vik, it isn’t unfair to label him injury prone. He’s injury prone.

    Players who have a slight build like Holden need to play like they are… players with a slight build. Players like that going into 50/50 balls with reckless abandon may bring fans’ allegience, but that only lasts as long as you’re able to bounce back up and play. He needs to play smarter.

    Take Pontius’ injury last year. He committed to a challenge a bit later than he should have and it wrecked his leg. It probably cost him a spot on the USMNT roster, given his form at the time and his form now. But I bet he’s learned his lesson.

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  14. exactly. Let’s face it, the guy has very little experience on the pitch and is coming off yet another injury. I can’t see too many EPL clamoring for his services until he at least steps back on the field and shows he’s still at his “old” form

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  15. I don’t think he has much choice, really.

    Coming off injury-rehab-injury-rehab, he’s played one match in the past year. Where’s he going to go that’s better than Bolton right now? The guy is a huge risk financially for any club until he shows he can have a run of health and form. Talk all you want about his indomitable spirit, but from a club’s perspective, he may never be the same player again that he was in 2011.

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  16. Well, it’s also not clear how many teams would be willing to pick him up as he is now unfairly labelled as “injury prone.” I don’t consider suffering multiple leg-breaking tackles equating to someone being prone to injury, but that’s his rep.

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  17. I like yet dislike that Holden is going to stay with Bolton. I mean, they are a talented team, but have been just killed by injuries to their top players. But if they drop I’m worried about the level of play he’s going to face, as well as the far more physical style of the Championship

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