HOLDEN ON TRACK FOR FALL RETURN
As the US national team defeated Jamaica 2-0 in the Gold Cup quarterfinals over the weekend, they were joined by a familiar face in injured midfielder Stuart Holden who was on hand to watch his team.
Holden, 25, was enjoying a breakout season with Bolton Wanders of the English Premier League but he suffered a serious knee injury in March when he was fouled by Manchester United's Jonny Evans.
Holden travelled down to Washington, DC for the US match from nearby Delaware where he is rehabbing his knee.
"I'm doing well," Holden told YA. "I'm rehabbing up in Delaware. I'm running on the treadmill and getting things moving. I've been off crutches for a couple weeks now. I'm just trying to get my leg muscles back."
Holden's rehab stint in Delaware is almost complete and he will return to England in the next few days where he will rejoin Bolton for their preseason.
"I'm going back to England next week," Holden said of his upcoming schedule. "I'm going to start preseason with the guys. I won't be training but I'll be doing stuff off to the side"
While he won't be playing in any matches, the positive news for Holden is that his timetable for a September return is still on schedule.
"Early September is what I'm looking at," Holden said optimistically. "Hopefully back to full fitness and playing again."
Holden watched the US defeat Jamaica and advance to the semifinals of the Gold Cup where they will face Panama who defeated the US in the group stages. Holden was encouraged by the team's performance on Sunday.
"I thought they played well," Holden discussed. "Jamaica made it a little tough in the first half but in the second half they came out and kept the ball well, broke them down. Clint scored a good goal and Jermaine had a good strike from outside the box."
Holden is currently rehabbing from his second serious injury in the past two years. In 2010 he had his leg broken by Holland's Nigel De Jong. He came back to make the World Cup team but was not at one hundred percent and did not see significant action at the tournament.
Now with the current injury forcing him to miss another major tournament, Holden insists he now more motivated than ever to get back to the US national team and contribute.
"It is tough watching but it gives you more motivation," Holden concluded. "You watch the guys and be with the group, socialize with them, and catch-up. It really makes me feel a part of it. It really makes me want to get back to the squad."