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Holden plays 90 in Bolton development squad win


Stuart Holden’s return from surgery continues to inch closer to completion after the American midfielder played a full 90 minutes in the Bolton Development Squad’s 1-0 win vs. Bury in a Manchester Senior Cup match on Monday.

Returning to action after a recent harsh tackle threatened to present a setback, Holden returned to action and played well for Bolton in what was his first full match since returning to action after missing a year and a half while recovering from extensive knee surgery.

Holden is believed to be very close to returning to Bolton’s first team, though he may need another full match with Bolton’s reserve team before being back with the full squad. Either way, having him play a full 90 minutes is a positive step, even in a reserve match.

What do you think of this latest development? Anxious to see Holden play first-team soccer again?

Share your thoughts below.


  1. Here’s a kid who is doing everything he can to get back on the field. And them there’s Donavan doing everything he can to stay off it. How in the world can you lose your passion to wear the red, white and blue? How does someone lose his passion for pulling on the LAG shield, knowing this is the season you can prove it without Beckham? I’m not totally judging him, just a little. I miss the 2002 Donvoan who brashly said we can beat the Germans, otherwise don’t play the game. And he believed it. And he had me believing it. And we almost did it. Where is that Donovan? Get it back, Landon. Get it back…

    • Why don’t you compare what Landon has already done to what Stu has yet to do with his career?.

      Then maybe you’ll see why Stu still wants what to Donovan is already been there done that.

      • Welp, Stu took the risk and is trying to stake his claim whereas Landon found that being a big fish in a small pond is too cushy to give up.

  2. Sometimes I feel as another has mentioned here before: Holden is taking a break from his busy injury schedule to play a few games for his club.

    But I love the guy. Wish him nothing but luck.

  3. The dude has heart… unfortunately he is done imo. I don’t believe he can keep healthy for a full season in the EPL. HE reminds me of Tom Waddle of the Bears back in the 90’s.

    • In your opinion? What exactly are you basing your opinion on? You’re making it sound like Holden is some injury-prone guy whose body can’t deal with the rigors of being a pro athlete. There is nothing to suggest that is the case. All of his troubles stem from an awful, reckless challenge that could have happened to anyone.

      • Plus remember that awful tackle by that thug De Jong in a friendly that broke his leg. Then after that recovery he had another terrible tackle that wiped him out from a Man U player (Evans?, can’t remember). He has mostly been a victim of very bad luck.

    • This is a ridiculous comment and you should feel bad for making such awful comments.

      Holden may or may not be done, but it’s certainly looking like he’s NOT done.

      And his injuries are not exactly like those of JOB (if you even know who that is), it’s been a handful of rough tackles with damage from hard impacts.

      • Wasn’t there talk about how he’s too aggressive and doesn’t side step tackles or avoid them on this board after the Evans incident?

        You’re kind of an ass Bobb, go drink and quit being such a fucker.

    • I don’t want to sound overly optimistic, but Stu’s got more talent than all but a couple of USA midfielders (Dempsey, Bradley…and Donovan, if he comes back). The question is how quickly it all comes back for him, if it does. If he’s playing for the Bolton first team before the end of February, I would think that would already make him a better choice for the national side than Wiilams or Edu or Zusi. No reason to wait until the summer.

      • Agree 100%. If he can return to his previous form problems with midfield distribution pretty much go by the wayside. Plus he became a good defender, too, before he was injured.

  4. Holden still had more minutes than Williams I know the quality of games aren’t that great. Also, Holden could the flanks or behind forwards.

  5. development squad? cool story bro. Honestly what did he do to his knee to be out over a year? I’m confused as to why it took so long.. I feel like charlie davies comeback was quicker.

      • He did have about a dozen goals for DC on loan one season. But DC and Sochaux didn’t want him back and he ended up in a bad place at Randers. That he is no longer internationally fashionable doesn’t mean he didn’t have a comeback.

      • I think you’re exaggerating Davies’ level of pre-injury production. He was a highly touted player but he had only had one other double figure goal season (Hammarby) before the injury, followed by double figures for DC after. 11 goals is close enough to his prior best of 14 where regarding the semantics debate about what is a “comeback”……ie, is it (a) playing with productivity, (b) playing above average, or (c) excelling…..I don’t even have to win the semantics debate to make my point…..

        The reality is he had one breakout season with Hammarby, then bided time til he moved Sochaux, but quickly got hurt. I think we all expected great things but he did not have such an established resume where one can pull the “not a comeback” card. Fair or unfair, his paper production looks like EJ, who has gone up and down over time. Quite a few people would call EJ a comeback player….even if what he really has is a world-class inconsistency problem which has led to two career revivals and may lead to more still.

        I also shy away from a snap judgment on his ability to come back because I assume he will get at least one more shot in MLS if Randers fails. If he comes back to a weak MLS team and posts 10-15 goals again, like DC, the pro-Davies end of the talk will revive. I mean, people on here love players like Espindola and Sapong who do less without his level of injuries, when he had 11 post-injury. At some point if he transfers somewhere that wants to play him that dissonance will be sorted out.

  6. Stu is a great example of making the positive of every situation and full dedication. Hope he’s successful when back with the 1st team and eventually gets the call back to the MNT.

    • He is also a great example of taking the long, slow approach to full recovery — rather than rushing back prematurely. All indications that I can see have shown that Bolton has been a fantastic employer in terms of patience in his rehab, as well.

      • He actually tried to come back a few months ago and reinjured himself which is why he is still out, had he waited he would be healthy again.

      • Yes, I know. But as I understand it, it wasn’t a re-injury, but rather previously undetected additional cartilage damage, that manifested itself by flaring up upon his return..

  7. Maybe I’m just more cognizant of this now, but it seems that EPL football is growing increasingly rough with rash challenges that are essentially going unpunished on a wide scale.

    • I think Fabricio Coloccini going unpunished (not even a red card or penalty) for the kick in the face that broke Demba Ba’s nose is a travesty. It is hard to believe that Coloccini did not see Ba’s face as he kicked.

      Fabricio Coloccini

      In the Bundesliga on Sunday, Shawn Parker kicked high and glanced the face of Michael Parkhurst, and Parker got a red card and a two-game suspension.

      Parker high kick at the 2:20 mark:

      • And speaking of Michael Parkhurst, it looks as if he will be starting from now on after Augsburg’s starting right back was tackled hard by Junior Diaz on Sunday and sustained a season-ending knee injury. Diaz, as most of you know, will most likely be on the field for Costa Rica next month in the WCQ game.

        Diaz tackle at the 3:08 mark

    • i guess it depends what you’re comparing it to. the EPL was much rougher ten years ago. i’m not sure that it’s getting rougher; it may be like the NFL, where everybody’s so much stronger and faster that the impacts are going to be greater.

      • and along those lines, the increased speed of the game might make it harder for refs (without help of video) to enforce the rules.

    • The exact opposite is true. Like in the NFL, players today are being booked (or fined in the case of the NFL) for stuff that wouldn’t even have drawn a foul in the ’90s.

    • A reward for all his effort? A boost to the team after a poor first half to the season? Desperation by the manager? All three?

      Either way, he’s exceeding most people’s expectations with his recovery time. Let’s hope he manages to stay injury free for the rest of the season and he gets another look at the national team this summer.

      • “he’s exceeding most people’s expectations with his recovery time.”

        Is he? It’s been two years. I wish him the absolute best and hope he can return to his pre-injury form, but if he’s playing in meaningful games this summer we’re probably in trouble.

    • The FA Cup is traditionally where teams give their marginal players a runout, every team but one loses eventually, most teams are resigned to not being FA Cup winner, so those are games that are part meaningful but also part throwaway.

      It’s like playing a MLS reserve in USOC. You’re not going to miss the playoffs running out a kid in USOC. It’s a real game with some stakes but not going to impact your table standing. You’re not going to get fired for getting knocked out of FA Cup trying out players.

      They’re trying to get him games to work him into form and fitness.


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