Written by Will Parchman

For the first time since last year’s Gold Cup, Stu Holden is getting back on the field Monday night in a Bolton U21 match against Everton. At least that’s what his coach says. This is Stuey warming up.

This is just a lovely turn of events, isn’t it? (H/T Mark Yesilevskiy)

UPDATE: Well this is just the most horrible news.

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Written by Travis Clark

U.S. men’s national team player Stuart Holden hasn’t had much luck with injuries lately, but it appears he is finally on the road to recovery. Holden came in as a substitute on Tuesday in Bolton’s 2-0 win over Sunderland in an FA Cup replay, his first appearance since March 19, 2011.

Holden’s brother Euan snapped this photo from the stands as his big bro came in for a 16-minute appearance. Hopefully a sign of things to come.

 

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Written by Jahmal Corner

Remember this past summer when we told you about Holden Magazine, er, I mean Howler Magazine …? Well, what we didn’t tell you is that Stuart Holden would be stopping the presses in the first issue with a shirtless Superman pose (It’s coming after the jump, hold your horses ladies!)

Before I reveal the Holden money shot let me tell you a story about Stuart … (*sensing you’ve already clicked past the jump* … uh, you’re no longer reading this are you? Oh, what the hell? Just check out Holden and his random Superman persona – which I’d love for someone to explain to me by the way – after the jump).

[Kickette.com]

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Written by Jahmal Corner

I guess this is one of the perks of being a No. 1 draft pick. MLS Rookie Andrew Wenger, the first overall pick of the January draft, has clearly aligned himself with an ideal roommate as Zarek Valentin prepares a pregame meal for the two of them.

I hope Wenger realizes just how good he has it. Between the six or so roommates I’ve had in my lifetime the closest any of them ever came to cooking for me was loaning me a pizza delivery coupon – and it was expired.

The meal above looks legit. I have newfound respect for Valentin who just might rival Stuart Holden in the kitchen.

 

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Written by Jahmal Corner

In the season finale of No Holden Back (television narrator voice) we find Stu returning to England, playing video games (a lot) and talking about Bolton’s relegation from the Premier League.

But enough about that. The question on everyone’s my mind is: does Stuart’s return to health mean the end of the show? Clearly he’s rounding into shape … will that mean the end of gems like: Flippin skillets, flippin veggies, cookin chickens

He never really addresses it. Well, if this is indeed the last ride it’s been a fun one.

Oh, oh, oh-oh, oh, oh, oh …

 

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5v5: US MNT Roundtable

Written by Jahmal Corner

In our new 91st Minute series, 5v5, five soccer writers tackle five hot topics during a candid roundtable debate. Today’s subject: the U.S. Men’s National Team. Let the debate begin.

1. True or false: Clint Dempsey has become the most important player in the US Soccer program?

Chris Ravita, The Sports Network: True. His scoring record with Fulham this season does not lie, and he has matured into a player who can be relied upon. He’s creative, deadly in front of goal, a strong aerial threat, versatile and a fierce competitor. Dempsey is the most well-rounded player in the national team set-up.

Daniel Robertson, BigDSoccer: Absolutely true. Outside of Landon Donovan, there’s no player on the US capable of the spectacular like Clint is. So many games at the international level are decided by whichever team has that one player that can produce the match-winning moment and Clint is certainly a match-winning type player. I think the only real problem is almost the same problem that Messi has, and something that Klinsmann has to figure out: what is the key to getting him more involved in the USA attack?

Kevin Baxter, LA Times: Right now, true. Not only is he probably the most talented and successful US player, but by playing as well as he has in the EPL he’s proving to Americans – and the world – that US players can be a major force at the highest levels of the sport. And when he hits the transfer market and non-soccer fans in the US see how much teams are willing to pay for an American player, I think it will bring the sport and US program more respect and attention. So yeah, for reasons well beyond his play on the field.

Jason Davis, Best Soccer Show; KCKRS: True. Both because of his obvious status as the best player the US has right now as well as his profile while playing in the Premier League. Clint fits that status from several angles.

Adam Serrano, Soccer By Ives, MLSSoccer.com: False. While Dempsey certainly is the top player in the pool at this time due to his run of form with Fulham, the U.S. National Team’s success begins and ends with the play of goalkeeper Tim Howard. Time and time again, Howard has proven to be the difference between a slim victory and a heavy defeat for the USMNT and his leadership has been irreplaceable in creating a back four that has undergone its share of changes in recent years.


2. True or false: Jurgen Klinsmann’s first nine months as head coach have been a success?

Ravita: True. The more accurate barometer will come in a major tournament, but his record has been consistent with previous USMNT coaches. The national team hasn’t fared well playing European teams IN Europe, so the defeat of Italy was a big selling point to me. They aren’t quite there yet, but if he is able to marginally improve results while changing the overall culture of the program, then it’s worth it.

Robertson: True, simply because there seems to have been a change from top to bottom. I can’t put any of the Olympic failure on Jurgen and he’s on a nice run right now having won the games in Europe, especially the win against Italy. However, nothing that he has done so far will hold a candle to the importance of the next 6 months.

Baxter: I would give him an incomplete – albeit  with a star next to it. I don’t think you say it’s been entirely successful given some of the bumps he’s hit. And remember, he insisted on overseeing the entire national program so the upset in the Olympic qualifying tournament goes on his resume too. But for years we’ve been hearing that US soccer needs to adopt a full-blown European-style approach, and that’s what Klinsmann is bringing. I believe he’s on the right track but I wouldn’t be surprised if there are a few more bumps coming up in World Cup qualifying.

Davis: True. Despite some early hiccups, he beat Italy in Italy. It might not have come with the stylish soccer so many imagined, but his job built confidence through winning.

Serrano: True. It’s been quite the exciting tenure for Klinsmann but it is one that can only be described in one word: progress. While the attacking formation is still in the works, Klinsmann has shown a commitment to bringing in new blood to the national team and when you factor in a confidence-building victory over Italy, Klinsmann’s charges should be in high spirits when World Cup qualifying rolls around. I’m also a big fan of the U.S. boss’ idea to join Twitter and create more communication with his fans. Now about Herculez Gomez…


3. True or false: Stuart Holden is more entertaining off the field (
“No Holden Back”) than on it?

Ravita: True, but only based on the fact that he’s been injured. When fully healthy and in top-gear, he has the potential to be a cornerstone of the national team along with Donovan and Dempsey. From a marketing perspective though, he’s done well to stay in the limelight while sidelined.

Robertson: It’s been so long since he’s worn a US jersey that it’s tough to even know how on- the-radar he is at this point. I will say false, because he is the type of player that can turn the United States from a decent team into a good team – way more entertaining than any video!

Baxter: Wow. I don’t know how to answer that. You have to love him in both places.

Davis: True, at least until he’s healthy. Even if he was, Stu’s game is much more nuts and bolts than many American fans like to imagine. He’s not a flair player, and while he can make a nice pass, he’s not necessarily creative enough to beat out the videos.

Serreno: False. While Holden’s show is certainly entertaining, prior to his injury Holden was one of the—if not the—most dynamic player in the U.S. player pool. Whether it is playing in the center of the park for Bolton or streaking down the flanks for the USMNT, Holden’s career remains one that is in ascension. Although he has battled a yearlong knee injury, he is currently in the middle of a recovery process that could see him play a role for his club next season.

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Written by Jahmal Corner

Ever wondered what another man’s ear tastes like? Or how it feels to punch someone to the soundtrack of Phil Collins?

Well, Mike Tyson is here to tell you. The former heavyweight fighter now has his very own one-man Vegas show where he stalks around a stage and says things like: and that’s when I started doing morphine for breakfast to a fixated crowd (I promise I’m not making this stuff up).

While looking for tickets online the other day I got to thinking: who are the craziest soccer players ever that I would pay to see ramble about their insanity on stage?

Top three countdown begins now:

3. Nigel de Jong: Jean Claude Van Damme this dude is crazy! He’s the reason Stuart Holden is currently flippin skillets, flippin veggies, cookin chickens – instead of playing.

2. Mario Balatelli: This guy once drove around in his convertible Bentley high-fiving fans; this guy turned the garden of his mansion into a race track. He’s well off the reservation. This is what routinely goes on in his head.

1. Elizabeth Lambert: One, two, Lizzie’s coming for youthree, four, better lock your door (Nightmare on Elm Street voice) …

 

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Written by Jahmal Corner

Poor Stuart just can’t catch a break. The spunky U.S. midfielder has officially been ruled out for the rest of the EPL season.

On the bright side, his additional time off to rehab his knee will give him more time for “flippin skillets, flippin veggies, cookin chickens – all kinds of crazy stuff.”

We’re rooting for you Stu. Get better. And work on your rapping (after the jump).

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Written by Jahmal Corner

In the third episode of his web series, “No Holden Back,” Stuart Holden is…

“Flippin skillets, flippin veggies, cookin chickens – all kinds of crazy stuff.” (shrug)

Those were definitely his words, not mine. In English, that means he shows off his cooking skills (and his legs at 2:25).

Other things we learn:

  • Holden eats breakfast with an oven mitt on his head, and cooks dinner wearing a karate nightie
  • This Texas boy needs his hot sauce (holler!)
  • Trader Joe’s allows filming in their  stores (had I known …)

Just another episode of “No Holden Back,” folks. “Oh, oh, oh-oh, oh, oh, oh, oh oh ….”

 

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Written by Jahmal Corner

I heard on the news today (oh boy!) that Bachelorette-to-be Emily Maynard will be filming the new season of ABC’s The Bachelorette from her hometown, Charlotte, NC.  The potential bachelors will stay in a 12,000 square-foot mansion on Charlotte’s southside.

Emily shouldn’t have any trouble finding a suitable mate on her own, but with the start of the MLS season this past weekend, I thought I might give her a few suggestions from the MLS (past, present and future), and a few  “playas” for the ladies to look out for in the coming weeks.

  1. Stuart Holden – Well, he’s not in the MLS, but he used to be, and who wouldn’t pick him?  We can always just watch his rehab videos.
  2. Jeff Cassar – Former goalkeeper for several MLS squads, but as a current member of RSL’s coaching staff, he still qualifies.  He has the unique credential of having a connection to the show.  He was once a finalist for The Bachelor.  But he’s too old for her….and married.
  3. Chris Pontius – On DC United’s current squad and Cosmo’s 2010 most eligible list.  But sadly, he’s just a little too young for a woman with a 6-year-old.
  4. Taylor Twellman – Retired from New England Revolution, but still eligible and he was on Cosmo’s 2009 List as one of the nation’s hottest bachelors.  He’d probably make the list again if he doesn’t marry Emily.
  5. Bobby Boswell – Currently plays for the Houston Dynamo, has a son, Kinston, who could be a playmate for Emily’s daughter, and was on Cosmo’s list for 2006.
  6. Jack Stewart – Currently on the FC Dallas roster, but played for the Carolina Railhawks when he made Cosmo’s list in 2007.
  7. Hunter Gilstrap – Pittsburgh Riverhounds.  Are we sure he’s not a model?  He’s the most recent addition to the Cosmo-soccer-player family, a pick from 2011.  And yeah, I know, he only plays in the USL, but Emily doesn’t have any money worries.  And one other thing, he’s originally from North Carolina.

So, Emily, I’m sure if those boys in the mansion don’t work out, you can always fall back on one of the above.

 

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