BRIAN SCIARETTA - Tuesday, February 9, 2010
With his college career now complete, Euan Holden has decided to bypass MLS and begin his professional career in Europe with Danish second division side Vejle BK.
Last month Holden, 22, accepted the offer to go on a trial with Vejle and afterwards he was offered a contract which he accepted. Holden, who primarily plays both left back and left midfield, said he came away very impressed by the club's players, coaches, and facilities. Those all played factors in his decision to sign.
"There were many factors that played into my decision to come to Vejle," Holden told YA. "I had a really good time on my trial and was treated first class by the coaching staff as well as the players. I got along instantly with the players, which has made the whole process that much easier."
"The facilities and environment is top class and along with that the standard of play is very good," Holden continued. "The coaches have a lot of belief in me and I thought Vejle to be a great place for me to improve as a player."
Holden has signed with Vejle following four seasons in the NCAA where he started at the University of Connecticut for his first two years then finished at the University of New Mexico. While Holden enjoyed his time in college, he is not sure the NCAA is the best place to develop as a soccer player who has professional aspirations.
"I have mixed feelings about my NCAA experience," Holden discussed. "I definitely learned a lot from my three and a half years and learned how to deal with difficult situations. But with only having short seasons and practically no season in the spring, I believe in terms of development, kids elsewhere in the world that are playing year round have a head start. At the same time though [they have] nowhere near the same level of education."
Holden is also recognizable because of his older brother, Stuart Holden, who is widely expected to make the USA's 2010 World Cup roster. Euan Holden was drafted last month by Stuart's former MLS team, the Houston Dynamo, in the fourth round of the SuperDraft.
Instead of starting his career at the MLS club where his brother achieved great success, Euan Holden decided to join Stuart and move his career overseas. With Stuart signing with Bolton Wanderers of the English Premier League, and Euan joining Vejle, both brothers will be looking to establish themselves with their new European teams.
Euan feels that his close relationship with his brother will be very helpful to him as he makes the challenging transition and starts his career in a new environment.
"It is great for my brother and I to both be starting our European careers at the same time," Holden said of his relationship with his bother. "If anything it makes it that much easier because we are in such close contact and can give each other good advice."
"He has an important affect on me as a player, because he is a great player himself and can help me with tough decisions, motivation, and most importantly an honest opinion, which I value very highly," Holden explained. "We have a very close relationship; we talk everyday, go to each other for advice, and model our lives around the same goals and interests."
While Holden's career is just beginning with Vejle, he is very ambitious in his long term goals. He feels the Danish club will help him reach his potential of becoming a successful player at the highest levels in Europe.
"My long term goals for both club and international soccer are to continue to improve as a player, challenge my ability, and take my game to the highest level," Holden said of his goals. "Whichever club that I play for at the time will be my number one priority and where ever that may be, will only be seen in the future."
Like his brother Stuart, Euan was born in Aberdeen, Scotland and moved to the US when he was young and became an American citizen just a few years ago. While Stuart is cap-tied to the USA and very much part of the national team's plans, Euan is open to the idea of playing for his native Scotland. He did however say it would be a difficult choice should he ever be asked but he would be honored to represent either country.
"As for the international level, it would be my honor to represent my country at any level," Holden concluded. "Whether that be US or Scotland, I will have to decide that when the time hopefully comes."