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Stuart Holden training with USMNT

StuartHoldenInjured (

Stuart Holden has faced a long road back from injuries, and the midfielder’s step towards recovery will come with the U.S. Men’s National Team.

The former Bolton Wanderers midfielder is set to train with the USMNT as a guest throughout the team’s January camp. Holden will not be eligible for the squads to face Iceland on Jan. 31 and Canada on Feb. 5.

Holden’s participation comes as the latest step in a grueling battle back from various injuries. The process started in March 2011 when a tackle from Manchester United’s Jonny Evans saw Holden suffer his first of several knee injuries. Following his return to action, Holden suffered a torn ACL in his right knee while playing for the USMNT in the 2013 Gold Cup, before re-injuring that same knee in 2014.

According to ESPN FC, Holden has been training with several MLS stars in recent weeks, including Benny Feilhaber, Dom Dwyer, Sacha Kljestan, Servando Carrasco, A.J. DeLaGarza, Hector Jimenez and Steve Birnbaum.

Since his release by Bolton, Holden has served as an analyst for various networks. However, the midfielder stated in 2014 that he was not prepared to retire and was hoping to return to action when his body permitted.

Holden has made 25 appearances and scored three goals for the USMNT.

What do you think of Holden’s participation? Excited to see him back with the USMNT? What do you expect from him?

Share your thoughts below.


  1. As long as Stu desires to keep pressing on i am behind him. As a Dynamo die hard i know his skill set and work rate is top notch. Now if his body will cooperate we could have a GREAT come back to witness. I hope he will make it back,resign with Houston,his home town team,and fulfill his dream of returning to the National team.
    Praying for you Stuart. Come back to Houston and our midfield will be stacked.

  2. Oh man. hate to get my hopes up again (…set that ball down again for Charlie, Lucy!!), but cmon Stu!! We’re pulling for you man and miss you on the Nats!!

  3. I feel sorry for Stu but I really think the NAT ship has long ago sailed for him. Like Twellman, there comes a point where you have to move on. I do not want to read that he’s ripped up his knee again

  4. I knew he had one last shot at it, just a matter of when and where. I’m glad he took his time. Hopefully his knee holds up…be great to see him ease back into MLS action with Kinnear in SJ and be a mentor for Alashe and Pelosi. The Stu/Wondo combo would be stellar.

  5. Oftentimes I hear the word courage way over used in sports. Soccer/football announcers will often use it because a player will do his job and try to get his foot or head on the ball in a tight situation, as if this is real courage. Running into a burning building is courage. Facing bullets is courage. Standing up for what is right even though it is against popular opinion is courage. Well, given Stu’s injury history and the fact that he could easily spend a number of years in the broadcast booth, or coaching, he is showing real courage. I salute him and wish him the best.

    • Gary you had it right at the beginning of your comment when you said, “Oftentimes I hear the word courage way over used in sports.” But then you went ahead and over used the word yourself in regards to Holden. IMO there is nothing courageous about it. He is a soccer player that got paid millions of dollars to play, had some knee injuries that have only prevented him from playing professional soccer, but not stopped him from having a normal life. Now he is trying to get back to playing and is in a nothing to lose situation. If it works out great, but if it doesn’t its ok, he’s already not playing right now and has already found his new career. He is definitely not running into a burning building as you put it.

      Determined yes, a hard-worker yes, but courageous? Nah. Good-luck to him.

  6. Well, if the career on the pitch doesn’t ever get back on track he certainly has a career in the booth or the studio. Nice guy and hope it works out for him.

    • Agreed. A guy like Stu has a career anywhere the primary employer has followed what he’s fought through. Anybody with kind of work ethic, perseverance, and attitude, is a great asset for any team of any kind.

  7. I will not date to hope … I just can’t handle the disappointment again and again … What could have been with a MF trio of

    — Holden — JJ90 — Bradley —

  8. “Holden has been training with several MLS stars in recent weeks, including Benny Feilhaber, Dom Dwyer, Sacha Kljestan, Servando Carrasco, A.J. DeLaGarza, Hector Jimenez and Steve Birnbaum.”
    Let me get this straight you call to camp (guess or not) someone who is nowhere near form or eligible, who is training with players to get to THEIR level… and yet you leave out the two top ” US MLS STARS” that lead the league in assists (3rd and 4th) in other words you left out the two top players with the ability to create goals? wow
    Glad Stu is recovering though, he’s been through a lot

    • When I saw the headline and read the article, I never thought that anyone could use this as an excuse to bash Klinsmann. You have won the prize for the greatest reach so far this year and maybe in SBI history. Wow, he is there as a guest to help in his training and yet somehow that indicates a failing by Klinsmann.

      • “…….and yet somehow that indicates a failing by Klinsmann”
        That’s how you see it, for exactly what it is. I was saying that if you can call in Holden in as a guess to train how come you haven’t called the best MLS midfielders in as “guess”. We all know Klinsmann is a failure so no need to say it repetitively (just look at our last 9 games and you’ll get the picture).

      • Benny Feilhaber – 10 goals 15 assists
        Sasha Klesjan (just got here) – 8 goals 14 assists
        US male player of the year Michael Bradley – 5 goals 6 assist
        Assists, the ability to create goals – So pardon my feeling that Klinsmann is full of it and using the USMNT camp as a rehab center rather that finding the best group of players like most countries do

      • Bizzy the difference is Stu isn’t looking to make the team and is without a club so if he takes a knock minor or major there is no ramifications for anyone but Stu. No club is going to be super excited about a player going to just be a practice player a month before the season starts. I know you can’t understand this, but Bradley is a team leader, Sasha and Benny are guys that have had leadership and training intensity questions throughout their careers so no need to bring them in at this camp. If they are still playing well next season when the Copa comes around they should definitely be considered, but not for this camp.

      • Bizzy,

        You are allowed to have your own opinion about Klinsmann. He has given enough evidence for people to have opinions all over the spectrum. However, you are reaching. JK clearly staed over a month ago that this camp was to focus on Olympic qualification. You bring a lot of those guys then a couple established USMNT pros from them to learn from. No of the guys you mentioned is an established USMNT pro. Don’t start on Jozy. He is the 4th all time scorer in US history and 3 in goals per gap played (behind LD and CD). Jozy is ahead of all time favorites McBride and Wynalda in goals/game. and is only 26.

        Additionally, did it perhaps cross your mind that Stu is training with those guys because he is friends with him. On top of that, when the writer states ““Holden has been training with several MLS stars in recent weeks, including Benny Feilhaber, Dom Dwyer, Sacha Kljestan, Servando Carrasco, A.J. DeLaGarza, Hector Jimenez and Steve Birnbaum.”, he is clearly mistaken. Benny and Dom are stars Sacha and AJ are very good pros. That is it. Sacha has never looked great on the USMNT either under JK or Bradley. He is not A team level quality. Truthfully, Mixx has not shown that either (and I assume his window is closing) unless he shows improvement, but he is 5/6 years younger. That is almost a generation in soccer terms. The ONLY guy who has a gripe is Benny – for some reason, but every coach I have ever played for had his favorites. Benny is not one of Jk’s favorites.

        I understand your frustration with JK, but your continual whining is equivalent to that of a pestering 2 year old. I get it, you hate him.

      • Anthony,
        First of all I’m glad you get it – Klinsmann sucks.
        Second of all Altidore is a horrible forward (the only player to keep playing for the national team without scoring more than 2 goals for Sunderland for 2 seasons) and can’t score goals when it matters and saying : “he’s is the 4th all time scorer in US history” well of course because they keep putting him on the field. 3 goals per game played? Chris Wondolowski has that ratio mostly coming off the bench…off the bench!!! in fact when was the last time Altidore scored? Beats me.
        Thirdly, Sacha has never looked great on the USMNT? Not even Bradley would look good if he always played with B team players (I mean lets be real Bradley cant even do well with Giovinco, Alti-noscore and Cheyrou around him). If Kljestan or Feilhaber was given the same chance and time as Bradley with the National team they’d do wonders (this year in MLS clearly shows it). Kljestan is one of the only US midfielders to play and maintain at the highest level 132 games with a top UEFA team (Anderlecht is currently ranked higher than Liverpool). He’s not an A team player? Bradley, Jones, Diskerud or Beckerman which midfielder on the USMNT roster has better stats than he does, in a league he just joined? None, absolutely none.
        Glad you feel my pain though

      • Bizzy,

        Let me first say I think you have missed some key things. Also let me apologize because I think my typing might have led you to one to erroneous conclusions. That is because I am typing on my which leads to grammatical and auto-spell check errors. I never use my work computer to respond during the day. I did Jozy is 3rd in his goals per game behind only Landon and Clin, and he doesn’t score in bunches. I think he has one hat trick in his whole USMNT caree, and he scores pretty evenly regardless of opponents. Landon is the one who scores in bunches against weaklings. In fact, the more you play someone, the more it evens out to their true nature. That means in USMNT history, only Landon and Clint are more likely to score in a given game that Jozy is. That should tell how weak the US forward crops is. Additionally, please do not try to sell me on Sacha achievements in a 3 year period in a weak league when Jozy dominated a much better league over a 2 year period. As bad as Jozy was with Sunderland, Sacha would have never made their reserve team. He played like crap for Bradley and JK. He is NOT good. Get off his jock.

      • Bizzy you are always about the numbers and you think it supports your belief that Altidore isn’t any good. Wondo scores a goal for the USMNT every 3.1 games (one of the best rates in USMNT history too by the way) and Jozy scores at every 2.87 games. Seems hardly a difference until you realize that Jozy would need to go goalless in his next eight matches to be at that number and since over the last 3 years he scores at once every 2.1 games that seems unlikely. A majority of Wondo’s goals came against Cuba, Belize, and Guatemala 70%, and only 3 came when he was not a starter and all were garbage time goals. Why was Jozy allowed to continue with the Nats while struggling at Sunderland because he scored 9 goals for the US during that time 8 of which were against teams that qualified for the World Cup, not minnows. Jozy has 12 WC Qualifying goals to Landon’s 13.

      • Bizzy, let’s now look at your belief that success in MLS is an indicator of Nat success.
        Top 10 American Scorers in MLS History

        1. Landon- All-time USMNT scorer *
        2. Jeff Cunningham – 1 goal in 14 matches
        3. Ante Razov – 6 goals in 25 matches not bad a goal every 4 games
        4. Wondo – Primarily Nat back up scored half his career goals in 5 day span against Belize and Cuba
        5. Jason Kreis – 1 goal in 14 matches
        6. Taylor Twellman – 6 goals in 30 matches once every 5 games
        7. Edson Buddle – 3 goals in 11 matches a little under once every 4
        8. Roy Lassiter – 4 goals in 34 matches
        9. Brian Ching – 11 goals in 45 matches (I’ll give him 6 were in WC qualifying)
        10. Brian McBride – 30 goals in 95 matches 3 World Cup Goals one of the best ever *

        So out of ten MLS All-Time Greats 2 were USMNT stars. The assist list is equally bleak you’d add Cobi Jones, but no other Nat stars unless you want to say Preki was a Nat star.

        And Sacha scored 8 goals in those 132 games in Europe, Jozy scored 43 times in 158. And your other favorite Bradley scored 29 European goals in leagues better than Belgium in 218 matches that’s a goal every 7.5 to Sacha 16.5.

      • Anthony and Johnnyrazor I see where you all are coming from and respect your views but Altidore is simply no good and we can agree to disagree.
        If you put any top striker from NASL (not MLS) on a team in EPL he WILL score more 3 goals in 2 years with 42 appearances.

        How can you be the top US striker and 10th in the league for goals with absolutely zero assists

        2015 Jozy Altidore STARTED 11 OUT OF 12 games with the exception of the Panama game and scored 4 goals in 2 games. So for 9 games a forward up top had no goals….in 9 games.
        2014 Altidore STARTED 10 OUT OF 12 games and scored 3 goals

        2015 Bobby Wood played 6 games, started 2 and scored 2 goals (imagine if he started 11 games).
        2014 Wood played 7 out of 8 games, started 1 game and scored 2 goals

        2015 Aron Johannssonn played 7 games, started 4 games and scored 1 goal
        2014 Johannssonn played 4 games and started 3 games and scored 1 goal

        2015 Chris Wondolowski played , games, started 2 games and scored a goal.
        2014 Wondo played 6 games, started 1 game, score 0 goals

        Do you see how lop sided the starts are in the past 2 years? If any of these players had as much play time as Altidore their goal tally would be a lot more…guaranteed

    • I think the biggest takeaway from everything is Klinsmann is going all in on the Olympic team. We just aren’t going to see much of a shake up on the senior team.

  9. Nothing at all to lose in the attempt. The window for an athlete is so narrow anyway…. if it doesn’t work out, at least there is a measure of peace in knowing you’ve given it your best…. which has never really been much in doubt w/ this guy. How sweet would it be if by some miracle this panned out?


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