USMNT / World Cup

Stuart Holden has a Massive Decision to Make

It is easy to envy a guy like Stuart Holden. He’s young, good-looking, and possesses great talent for a sport that many of us are unhealthily obsessed with. He has just finished his contract with a team which plays in a league that his talents have outgrown. He is ready for a new challenge. He is one of the most promising young players in an improving USA squad. He is available on a free transfer. He is, in short, a hot commodity.

Unfortunately for Mr. Holden, his contract has run out just months before that pilgrimage to the sacred altar of football known as the World Cup. In deciding his next move, he will be forced to balance the short term (playing time) with the long term (developing as a player). Does he sign with a club like Bolton Wanderers, where he would certainly learn, but risk sitting on the bench for a club in an EPL relegation battle? Does he sign with his hometown club, Aberdeen in Scotland, where he will likely play, but where the standard of football is not much higher than MLS? Does he take guaranteed playing time and re-sign with Houston, and risk being stuck in MLS until someone coughs up a transfer fee?

Stuart Holden's brain must be hurting over this

The injury to Clint Dempsey makes Holden’s decision all the more important. Though the prognosis on Dempsey’s knee sees him back in time for the Cup, if there is any kind of setback, Bob Bradley will be counting on Stu more than ever to take that right-midfield spot.

In all honesty, Stu is probably on the plane regardless of how much playing time he gets at his new club, but how much he actually plays once in South Africa may depend heavily on it. And whether or not he fulfills his promise to become one of the elite players of the United States may depend heavily on which club he actually ends up with. So with all he has going for him, Stuart Holden may be about to make the most important decision of his career. I sure don’t envy that.

One Comment

  1. Ed Farnsworth says:

    The Mirror reported on Monday that Bolton was passing on Holden and that Portuguese club Sporting Braga was set to take him on a free transfer. I haven’t seen any other confirmation of this though, and the Mirror could very likely be reporting rumor as fact. I haven’t seen anything more about Aberdeen since the end of November when the Aberdeen manager confirmed that the club was out of the running, though there was some speculation at the time that this was a negotiating tactic because of interest from bigger clubs, including Rangers. Good luck to Holden though wherever he ends up – may he stay healthy!

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