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Holden in line to make Bolton’s game-day squad vs. Nottingham Forest

Stuart Holden has been making steady progress on the field since returning to full health, but he has yet to be named to a game-day roster for Bolton Wanderers in league play.

That might change this weekend.

Holden appears set to make Bolton’s 18-man roster for their Saturday visit to the City Ground to take on Nottingham Forest. While it is unlikely that Holden starts for the Trotters, he could make his first appearance in a league game in nearly two years should he come off the bench.

Holden, who has made a pair of brief substitute cameos this season in FA Cup play, went the distance for Bolton’s reserve team in a match against his brother, Euan Holden, and Bury on Monday.

What do you think of Holden likely dressing for Bolton this weekend? Do you see him coming off the bench vs. Nottingham Forest?

Share your thoughts below.


  1. Great news, but given JK’s unevenly applied requirement that you be a key part of your team and getting significant time on the field, I wouldn’t expect to see him in a Nats jersey until the summer. My skepticism is showing here, but I’m at the point where I expect JK to make the puzzling lineup decision every time.

  2. Has anyone ever though that this team needs to play a 5-3-2? Logic being that our outside wings like to attack from the back. Playing this formation would allow that and not leave the flank exposed to a counter attack.


    Cameron Gonzales

    Chandler/Cherundolo Johnson


    Torres/Holden Bradley



    • Not without a lot of practice. 3-5-2 is hard to implement if you have little to no experience with it.

      And you need better center backs than what is currently available.

  3. I don’t want to see him with the nats until the home game versus Panama in June. Coming back for the March game is too scary soon…don’t want to see him at Azteca and definitely don’t want to see him get busted up at the Office…last game there was mayhem…crap ref let the Jamaicans get away with murder. I realize you can’t treat him with kid gloves forever, I’d just feel better if he started off with a home game down the road. If he comes back close to previous form, I’d put him and MB as twin 6s and build the midfield from there.

  4. YES!!! Now that Holden is back Klinsmann can roll out this!

    You know you want to Klinsy!



    —Jones ——–Williams




    I kid……I kid.

  5. Y’all, I think a more realistic goal is to hope that Holden gets to play in the Gold Cup, and if that goes well, then we can START talking about qualifiers.

    Don’t get me wrong, I’d *LOVE* for him to be at full international level by the June qualifiers, and technically that is not impossible, but unlikely in my honest opinion.

    • In the abstract perhaps but I think health aside there may be pressure to bring him in depending what the March qualifier results are. Klinsi tossed away 1-3 points on Honduras, and his next two games are Costa Rica at home — no slouch — and Mexico away. We all knew the draw was tough out of the gate but depending on how the next two games go there may be significant pressure on Klinsi’s job. In which case I think he’d have to start taking risks and abandon the slow pace with which he’s integrating new players.

      Bears reminding also that Holden was a South Africa sub — like Benny — which might be a justification for the fast track if we start needing results. And June games against Jamaica and Panama are likely going to be results we will aggressively chase.

      • “In which case I think he’d have to start taking risks and abandon the slow pace with which he’s integrating new players.”

        You mean starting Gonzo at Honduras next to the inexperienced right back in Cameron wasn’t risky enough for you?

  6. Let’s go 4-4-2 with Holden. Best system for US team right now.




    Bradley Jones


    Johnson Boca Gonzales Chandler

    • How do you rate Gonzales over Cameron? You do not sit Cameron for Gonzales. If you do, you lose better touch, more experience, etc. There is no metric that Gonzo rates over Cameron.

      • Gonzalez is taller. I think he is about 6’4″. How do you convert into that into meters? I was never very good with the metric system.

      • Omar is 6’5″ but you’re kidding yourself if you think Omar is more ready for the international level than Cameron right now.

      • “There is no metric that Gonzo rates over Cameron,” except for the metric system. But touche, I was kidding to think that pun was ready for the thread.

    • Our best lineup imo:




      —————–Jones (6)——————



      With no Donovan move Dempsey to the right and insert Shea…

      • The only difference in this lineup than 75% of the lineups posted is Holden in and wiliiams out. Which still isn’t realistic since Holden is nowhere ready to be on the USA team. Let the kid nit only start making the bolton roster, let him actually get his form back!!! Two years out and people think he will be ready for march qualifiers. Unreal. It’s mid February and he has yet to even play 90 in league play. We all love Holden, but chill out.

      • Great starting XI….but unlikely Holden will be ready by the March Qualifiers. But by the time May/June rolls around it could be a real possibility.

        Add in the following as subs for experience and/or sparks off the bench and I’ll feel much more comfortable with this team going forward.

        Striker: Boyd, Gomez Midfield: Shea, Gatt, Feilhaber/Zusi, Mix/Bedoya, Edu/Williams Defense: Lichaj/Castillo, Besler, Hines, Dolo Keeper: Guzan, Johnson/Hamid

    • I was one of those nuts. But if you were actually tracking his progress with Bolton then you would know that it’s not dillusional at all to think he may be with the USMNT come the March qualifiers.

      Most people that were calling people like me nuts (like you), weren’t actually tracking his progress.

      • It’s not delusional to bring him back for the March qualifiers, but it’s not likely. It’s a long way from Nottingham Forest the gameday roster to the US National Team.

      • He is no where near ready to play at the international level….one step at a time….this is progress….give it time….

        Oh and I have been foloowing his progress too…..

      • Yeah? While Chandler, WIlliams and Johnson are not ready to play at the international level, but that didn’t stop Klinsmann from starting them!

      • All 3 of them can play at the international level, Williams less so, but definitely Chandler and Johnson, especially Johnson. Johnson is like our 4th most important player after Bradley, Dempsey, and Howard.

      • Are you serious? If you call the US midfield against Honduras “international level” then I don’t know what to tell you. If Holden is in game shape and is relatively sharp, he has to be in WCQ’s sooner rather than later…England did it with Wilshere, Klinnsy should with Holden too..that’s assuming he actually wants to play a mid that can actually pass to a teammate though, which doesn’t appear to be the case most of the time

      • I have been tracking his progress and am certain he will be ready for the USMNT on July 9, 2013. This is based on his minutes played thus far in 2013, trailing 30 day barometer and projected 60 day humidity, among other things.

      • dude, if you think he’s ready for the march quals, you ARE nuts. Is he ready to play? It certainly seems that way, but we need ot see him get through a couple games unscathed and playing well before it can even be considered to bring him into camp. If all things go well, the soonest we could realistically see him is June.

      • June qualifiers at the earliest, and that’s assuming he’s at least coming off the bench regularly for Bolton.

    • Proud nut here. Holden replacing one of Jones/Williams in Klinsmann’s awful “DMs who all do the same thing in the same space” midfield could really change things given that he’s unwilling to put a pure attacking midfielder like Feilhaber or Diskerud up there…

      • Yves,

        If Holden somehow gets back to his 26 games for Bolton form, you are talking about a box to box midfielder who was second in the BPL in tackles and is great at set pieces.

        If he is in that form the guy he should replace is Bradley.

      • David JS,

        You obviously haven’t been following either the USMNT or Holden for very long.

        During his 26 game Bolton run what Holden did was take over the midfield. He was the Boss.

        If he is back to that,unlikely as it may be,and you want the best out of him, then you move MB90 somewhere else.

      • Absolutely not. Why would you take off Bradely, our best midfielder, when you could take off Jones or Williams? If Stu is healthy and playing in his previous form he should start for USMNT, ALONGSIDE Bradley, not instead of him.


      • Holden at his best and MB90 at his best are essentially the same player.

        You could play them together but they would have to work out who does what. and when.

      • “bradley is the best US player in the pool right now”

        You could make a case for Deuce.

        As for trolling no, that is a waste of time.

        Everyone here is dying to rush Holden back into the lineup and they forget he was never really a regular starter for the US.

        He might have been one by the time of the World Cup but De Jong broke his leg.

        His 26 game run for Bolton where he did is best stuff came after the World Cup. He might have staked his claim then but Evans nixed that.

        At his best Holden resembled the player Mikey is today for the USMNT. If he is all the way back, a very big IF, then JK will have some decisions to make.

        It is the same problem you had with Jones and Mikey. Prior to his shin injury, Jones made his name in the Bundesliga as the same kind of all action box to box type as Mikey is now.

        It’s one reason why playing those two together was so problematic at times.

        So those of you who want to throw him right into the starting lineup in a vital qualifiying match need to think about how this affects little things like team work.

        This could be good or it could be Gerrard/ Lampard part 2.

      • Jr. is not our best Dmid or #6. I’d rather have Edu in that position or Jermaine. Jr. is not our best CAM. I’d rather have Gringo Torres or Benny F. Jr. is not very good on the wing. I’d rather have Landon, Duece or Joe Benny. So, I don’t see Jr. as the best player in the pool.

      • Why can’t he play wing? Where Bradley often played him. Where he started out with the Dynamo. If he still has wheels, he can hit a cross, crisper player than Gatt or Shea, but with an ability to beat people off the dribble that say Zusi lacks.

        When he played centrally for the Dynamo he was only….Ok.

      • The only way Stu plays wing is if it he does like Beckham did with Dolo or Fabian as his Gary Neville, hitting early crosses.

        That might work but when Stu was on the wing for the US in the past he tended to drift inside and clog the midfield.

        At his best, Stu most closely the younger version of Beckham, except that Stu would tackle.

        In fact all of Stu’s injuries came when going in on tackles so maybe Beckham knew something Stu didn’t.

      • There are no wings under Klinsman’s current system, so it doesn’t really matter. There are 3 central midfielders with one being the designated #6 in front othe back four and Jones and Bradley occupying the (nominally) left and right. Holden could very much play the #6 with his tackling ability and would be a huge distribution upgrade over the other options we’ve had at that spot (Williams and Edu mostly, sometimes Beckerman). He could also fit right in to one of the other two midfield spots, because they aren’t expected to play wide. The outside backs fill that role in the current system.

        All this assumes that Holden gets back to where he was, which I certainly don’t take for granted, but if he does, that doesn’t at all mean he should “replace” Bradley, who is clearly our best central midfielder. He can slot right in for Williams or Jones and pre-injury Holden would be an upgrade over both and a compliment to Bradley.

        That said, I think the real solution (Holden or not, but certainly better with Holden) is for Klinsman to do one of two things…stop pretending Jones can’t play the #6 or stop holding on to a system that is stifling the team’s possession game. Switch to a system that complements the players… 4-2-3-1 so Bradley and Holden (if he’s there) can play side by side in a role they are both well suited to, defending, distributing and making late runs forward. Make room for some true wide play from midfield so we don’t have to ask so much of our outside backs, let Dempsey roam in front of two players that can both cover for him AND get the ball to him.

      • Assuming Holden comes back to his best, playing him at the postion you refer to as the #6 would be a waste of his abilities.

        At a time when fans are losing their minds at the thought of the immense difficulties confronting a player switching between right back and center back, I question whether he has the positional discipline required of the position.

        I have no doubt Stu has the talent but I am also pretty sure he has never played that role and that it is alien to his instincts as a player.

        Stu is inclined to attack the ball carrier not stay at home and protect his center backs.

        Remember, in theory every single qualifier from now on will be tense and vital.

        Not a good time to have Stu learn a position which is so alien to his instincts and where he probably doesn’t want to play.

        You want a better passer in that spot?

        Play JFT there. He’s done it before.

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