|Full name||Stuart Alistair Holden|
|Date of birth||August 1, 1985|
|Place of birth||Cults, Aberdeenshire, Scotland|
|Height||1.78 m (5 ft 10 in)|
|2013||→ Sheffield Wednesday (loan)||4||(0)|
|2004–2005||United States U20||11||(2)|
|2007–2008||United States U23||7||(1)|
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of May 19, 2013.
Stuart Alistair Holden (born August 1, 1985) is a retired American professional soccer player who played as a midfielder. Before his soccer career, he played as a professional Counter Strike player.
Holden represented the United States at under-20, under-23 and senior levels. He made his senior debut in July 2009 against Grenada and scored his first goal during that game. He was part of the United States squad at the 2008 Summer Olympics, 2009 and 2013 CONCACAF Gold Cup and 2010 FIFA World Cup. Since his debut, Holden has gained 25 caps and scored three goals. Following recurring knee problems, Holden announced his retirement on February 3, 2016.
Holden was born in Cults, Aberdeen, Scotland and grew up in Sugar Land, Texas, after moving there with his family at age 10. His father worked for Chevron Corporation in its human resources department. He played high school soccer in Houston for Awty International School. He graduated from Awty in 2003 and attended April 22, 2008 opening ceremony of the Awty athletic complex.
Professional gaming career
Before his professional sports career, Holden played competitive Counter-Strike (CS) under the alias Holden, most famously playing for Funk's team Forsaken in the United States. During his time with the team, he helped them to a second place at the WCG 2002 qualifier and 8th place at CPL Summer 2003. His CS career took a back seat as he began to play soccer seriously for Clemson University eventually leading into his MLS career.
Holden has admitted that he is slightly embarrassed by his gaming career, stating, "When I first started playing football professionally it all started to come out and I was a bit ashamed of it. I tried to hide it but eventually I've just started to embrace it. There's nothing I can do. I've deleted it off my Wikipedia page about four or five times and someone just keeps putting it back up there!"
After playing two years of college soccer at Clemson University, Holden signed with English club Sunderland in early 2005. On March 12, Holden was attacked outside a bar in Newcastle because he was a Sunderland player, leaving him with a fractured left eye socket, which prevented him from training with the club for two months. When Holden resumed training, he suffered an ankle injury that ruled him out for the rest of the season. Holden was released after his six-month stay having never played for Sunderland's first team.
Holden returned to the United States to play in Major League Soccer with the Houston Dynamo for the 2006 season. He made his MLS debut on May 27, 2006, and scored his first professional goal on July 22, 2006, in a 1–1 home draw against New England. He appeared thirteen times in the 2006 regular season and twice as a substitute in Houston's run to the MLS Cup 2006 championship. In the championship penalty shootout, Holden took the Dynamo's second shot and scored to the top right corner.
Holden's playing time increased in the 2007 season. He mostly started on the left wing when teammate Brad Davis went down with injury. In July, Holden scored goals on consecutive Thursday night games and added three assists in league play and another in SuperLiga play, as of July 25. Holden was awarded the US Soccer Humanitarian of the Year award in 2008.
Having spent several weeks training in England following the end of the 2009 Major League Soccer season, Holden officially joined Premier League side Bolton Wanderers on January 25, 2010. He made his debut on February 24, 2010 in a 4–0 defeat against Tottenham Hotspur in the FA Cup, starting and playing the full ninety minutes. He made his first league appearance on February 27, 2010, playing the full 90 minutes in a 1–0 victory over Wolverhampton Wanderers. On September 30, 2010, he signed a new contract at Bolton, which would keep him at the club until 2013. He scored his first goal for Bolton away to Wolverhampton Wanderers on November 13, 2010.
In the 2010–11 season, Holden helped Bolton reach seventh place in the Premier League and to the FA Cup Semi-finals. However, his season was cut short on March 19 after he suffered a knee injury against Manchester United at Old Trafford when going into a tackle with Jonny Evans. Evans' studs caught Holden in the left knee, leaving a gash that required twenty six stitches and a fracture of the femur near the knee joint, which ruled him out for a minimum of six months. Despite missing the final two months of the season, Holden was still voted the 2011 Bolton Wanderers Player of the Year. Without Holden, Bolton finished the season in fourteenth position.
On September 20, 2011, after six months out, Holden started and played the full ninety minutes against Aston Villa in the third round of the League Cup, but was then initially ruled out for a further six weeks as the club brought forward a routine follow up procedure. However, the procedure revealed cartilage damage, meaning Holden would be out for a further six months, missing the rest of the season. Later on in the season, Bolton Wanderers were relegated to the Championship after 11 years in the Premier League.
On June 22, 2012, Holden announced via his Twitter account that he was due to switch to the number 22 shirt after it had been vacated by Jussi Jääskeläinen. This was confirmed by the club when they released their squad numbers on July 5.
After playing in a reserve match in early January 2013, Holden made his return to Bolton's first team on 15 January 16 months after his last appearance, coming on as a late substitute in their 2–0 FA Cup replay win against his former club Sunderland.
On June 29, 2013, it was confirmed that Holden had torn his anterior cruciate ligament in his right leg while playing for the United States in the CONCACAF Gold Cup final against Panama and would miss the majority of the 2013–14 season.
Loan to Sheffield Wednesday
Holden joined fellow Championship Team Sheffield Wednesday on a months loan on March 28, 2013, mainly for match fitness after a series of injuries, and also to replace Sheffield Wednesday's injured right midfielder Michail Antonio. and he made his debut two days later in the local derby at home to Barnsley. He was one of three emergency loans made by Dave Jones to strengthen the struggling Sheffield Wednesday side who were on the verge of relegation. Holden made his second appearance in a 3–2 victory over Blackburn Rovers, Holden only played 59 minutes before being substituted for Kieran Lee. Holden played four times for Wednesday during his loan spell.
Holden was capped 11 times as a United States youth international at the U-20 level, scoring two goals, the first being on July 18, 2004 in a 2–2 home draw against Denmark U-20 in the 2004 Milk Cup in Northern Ireland. and the other on June 24, 2004 in a 1–2 defeat against Brazil U-20 in the Busan Four Nations International Youth Tournament. Early in 2007, Holden was called in to the US U-23 squad for a camp in California and in December for a camp and trip to China to play matches against the China U-23 team. In July 2008, Holden was named to the US squad competing in the 2008 Beijing Olympics. On August 7 he scored in the USA's opening match, a 1–0 victory against Japan. In December 2008 Holden was called into a camp set to begin in January 2009 preceding a friendly against Sweden on January 24. He sustained a hip injury prior to the friendly and was forced to withdraw from camp.
Holden was named to the United States Gold Cup squad on June 25, 2009, as nearly all of the senior regulars were rested following the Confederations Cup. Holden scored a goal for the US in his national team debut against Grenada on July 4, 2009. On July 11, 2009, Holden scored his second international goal against Haiti with a thirty-yard strike that tied the game in the ninety-second minute, and assisted the USA's first goal in that match, which was scored by Davy Arnaud. Holden added two more assists in the 2–0 semi-final win against Honduras. Stuart was selected to the Gold Cup All-Tournament Team. During a friendly match on March 3, 2010, Nigel de Jong broke Holden's leg, causing him to miss six weeks of soccer. On May 26, 2010, it was announced that Holden would be part of the 23-man roster for the US National Team which played in the 2010 World Cup in South Africa and he played as a substitute in the opening 1–1 draw with England.
After two-and-a-half years without a callup due to injuries, Holden made his return in May 2013 and was a member of the 2013 CONCACAF Gold Cup squad that won the tournament. However, he was injured early in the final and it was revealed he had suffered a torn ACL.
- As of July 10, 2013.
|Club||Season||League||FA Cup||League Cup||Other||Total|
|England||League||FA Cup||League Cup||Europe||Total|
|United States||League||US Open Cup||MLS Cup Playoffs||North America||Total|
|England||League||FA Cup||League Cup||Europe||Total|
|Bolton Wanderers||2009–10||Premier League||2||0||1||0||0||0||3||0|
|Sheffield Wednesday (loan)||2012–13||4||0||0||0||0||0||4||0|
- As of December 15, 2014.
Style of play
Holden is a versatile, linking midfielder who, due to his ambidexterity, can play in the left, right, or center of the midfield. Holden is particularly noted for his adeptness at taking set pieces and delivering crosses, being compared to David Beckham.
Holden was born in Scotland, and moved to the United States at the age of ten. Holden's father lost a six-year battle with cancer in early 2009. His mother and sister still live in Houston. He has been an American citizen since 2006. Every game, Holden wears a Livestrong bracelet that belonged to his father, taping over it for its protection.
Having lived in and spent the majority of his childhood growing up in Scotland, Holden spoke with a Scottish accent up until the age of around 10, when, having emigrated to the US with his family, he developed a pronounced Houstonian accent with which he still speaks to this day, despite having returned to live and work in the UK. He became engaged to model Karalyn West in March 2014, and the two got married in June 2015.
Holden, and his wife Karalyn, announced the birth of their first child, daughter Kennady, on February 3, 2016.
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Looks like I'm changing squad number to lucky 22 for next year! :) Heads up! #bwfc
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- "Games played by Fabrice Muamba in 2011/2012". Soccerbase. Centurycomm. Retrieved October 10, 2012. Cite error: Invalid
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