Bolton considering offer for Holden

Stuart Holden (

Photo by

Stuart Holden's trial with Bolton is going well, and manager Owen Coyle has revealed that he is considering offering Holden a contract.

Coyle wouldn't say anything definite about a contract, but he did state that Holden was doing well during his trial.

"Stuart has come in and trained well with us," Coyle told Sky Sports. "It is something we will look at in the next few days.

"We have a good group of players but we are looking to improve the squad we have. That's an ongoing process," Coyle said. "He's obviously got talent, good technique and quick feet.

"We just have to make that judgment about whether he is better than what we have already got. "

Starting to think Holden will wind up with Bolton? Worried that an offer still hasn't come yet?

Share your thoughts below

International Response Fund

This entry was posted in Americans Abroad, European Soccer. Bookmark the permalink.

74 Responses to Bolton considering offer for Holden

  1. Eric says:

    I am concerned that both Holden and Altidore could end up in the Championship next year… that said, as long as Holden plays – Altidore already seems well entrenched at Hull (still needs a few goals, or one)- I think the move can’t be anything but good in the short term.

  2. Rory says:

    I’m not sure that the championship wouldn’t be a good spot for either of them. Especially Jozy who needs a little toughness and plenty of playing time.

  3. Gage says:

    Altidore is only on a loan deal so that would be up to Villareal.

  4. Andy in Atlanta says:

    Holden is a gamer… Bolton would certainly be upgraded by his presence on the field… there is no transfer fee and his salary requirements when weighed with his talent are a great deal… Coyle is just being coy IMHO… No transfer fee, lower wages then players not as good as him.. young… YES PLEASE!!

  5. Joe says:

    hmmm…. I think he will. But I think his judgement of… “better than what we have already got” is terrible. The kid has been in MLS for his entire career, and you expect him to be better than players you already have?? I think Coyle should look more along the lines of… “If he’s this good after a few years in MLS, imagine what he can be after a few years in the EPL”.

  6. Lieutenant in Sam's Army says:

    wtf is up with the pic of stu that sky sports has on that story? lol

  7. donturtuccio says:

    i gotta say that if they are even mentioning the possibility of a contract, then it is a done deal, he is getting an offer… no contract would be similar to the freddie adu, “he is a great young guy, and we like his progress”

  8. dhawk says:

    I agree. Coyle initially brought him in to trial at Burnley and pulled him over to Bolton when he made his own switch. That shows a tremendous amount of interest and faith in Holden.

  9. JTS says:

    Why would CHampionship be bad? Is it bad for DeMerit? Is it worse then MLS?

    Playing consistent minutes at the Championship would be a fine outcome, just not as good as EPL.

  10. JTS says:


  11. Eric says:

    “Altidore joined Hull on August 6, 2009 in a deal extending until the end of the season, with the Tigers having the option to purchase his rights at the end of the campaign for a fee believed to be £6.5 million.”

    It’s not as cut and dry as you would make it seem. The fee for Altidore might be a huge impediment for a squad heading down a league but I am not so sure Villareal would be jumping at the return of a player who didn’t tally in the EPL either. As to where this leaves Altidore who can say, but Hull does have the power with this loan.

    Let’s just hope Altidore figures it out and I don’t think league championship would football would do anyone any good (see: bobby convey).

    link to

  12. Brad says:


    Do you know if other EPL teams are monitoring Holden’s situation? I thought there would be way more interest in Holden…

  13. Josh D says:

    Championship is more physical so it suites a physical CB like DeMerit.

    Holden doesn’t seem capable of going toe to toe often so he wouldn’t be able to shine properly.

    I would love to see him at Bolton. A crap team since Big Sam left so there is room for him to break in. I agree that he is playing silent lips as Holden as received other interest.

    He’d be satisfied with a low ball contract compared to what he is used to earning. Rather him there than some random league so I can watch his progress : )

  14. dan20ffc says:

    yea a little worried that no offer is in, im a huge american football fan and i want for the game to grow or better yet i would like to see the group of fans in the states and players become more knowledgable and better, so i want all american national teamers to ply their trade overseas. holden has been doin very well wit the nats and bolton arent great this season so im hoping he goes there and makes an impact.

  15. TimN says:

    Bobby Convey was doing fine before he got hurt, so I don’t think that’s a fair assessment. If you want to cite Coca Cola League failures, Eddie Johnson would be more appropriate.

  16. Aaron in StL says:

    You think that Hull is going to pay that much for a guy who has yet to score? Let alone anybody, they are trying to unload players more than anything.

  17. jonjones says:

    If our starting national team players can only find playing time in the Championship. We are in a lot of trouble

  18. Charles says:

    It is funny how people keep saying things like Holden is a huge success INSPITE of him playing in MLS.

    Seems to me some of the biggest concerns on the national team are the guys that play ( or don’t play ) in Europe.

  19. Charles says:

    Ummm. I watched him play in about 10 games last year. 3 in person.

    IF I were a huge American fan, I would want him to stay.

    Maybe attend a playoff game ( 15 min drive ) where my Sounders play his Dynamo, rather than try to fly to Bolton ( expensive 8 hour flight ) to watch a game to see who is the worst team in first division England.

  20. Wondolowski says:

    “Holden has been doin very well wit the nats and bolton arent great this season so im hoping he goes there and makes an impact.”

    benny feilhaber to derby ring a bell anyone?

    the world cup is in six months. stay in houston and go after the summer when his stock has skyrocketed by helping lead the yanks to a world cup final.

  21. Luke says:

    I’m not sure this is such a good move for Holden. Playing time is going to be an issue at Bolton and if he wants to prove to Bradley he should be on the roster for SA sitting on the bench at Bolton is not going to do it. Bolten’s first choice midfield is Taylor, Cohen, Muamba and Chun-young Lee. All are solid and their subs are decent too in Gardner, McCann, O’Brien and others.

    With Bolton fighting relegation, I just don’t see Coyle going to a unproven young player like Holden. Bolten will have no gimme games in the EPL for Coyle to experiment with his lineup. Every game, Bolton will have to try to get a result.

  22. cfig says:

    Hate to see Stu leave the Dynamo but I think this is a good move for him, seems like a side he can break into and have an impact. Even if Bolton do get relegated there’s also always a good chance that he’ll get picked up by another Premiership or promoting to the Premiership club if he has a good season, someone solid on low wages like his would be ideal for a promoted side.

  23. Wondolowski says:

    “Holden has been doin very well wit the nats and bolton arent great this season so im hoping he goes there and makes an impact.”

    benny feilhaber to derby ring a bell anyone?

    the world cup is in six months. stay in houston and go after the summer when his stock has skyrocketed by helping lead the yanks to a world cup final.

  24. Austin says:

    i think we would all rather see Holden in MLS than the championship next year…1) we would still all be able to watch him every weekend. 2) his size definately does not suite the harsh and rugby like football in the championship. 3) TALENT WISE/COMPETITION, MLS and the Championship are very equal(the training would be better, but it isnt so much his style either)

    BUT, i personally think Bolton have a good chance of staying in the prem this season

    BTW….Altidore definately wont be with Hull next season anyways, so everybody stop mentioning Altidore

  25. Isaac says:

    What happens in Houston, stays in Houston.

  26. Eric says:

    I don’t think Hull is going to pay that money but I also don’t think Villareal will be featuring him anytime soon. I think that puts Jozy in a tough position come the end of the season.

  27. Austin says:

    Feilhaber was not playing anywhere near the standard Holden is at right now at the time he went to Derby…..Holden is arguably better than Feilhaber right now and Benny has no doubt developed much since his Derby days

    i dont care either way where Holden goes…..i want him to remain in MLS, but since he is a good player for the nats i would like to see him playing in the EPL as well

  28. El Michael says:

    If Jozy stays with Hull and ends up in the CL. I don’t think it would neccessary be a bad thing. He could excel in the first half of the season and by the following Jan 2011 transfer window he could be a big prize.

    But if i had my choice I would like him to return to Spain and make an impact there.

  29. Ryan says:

    I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again — the level of play in the Championship is considerably higher than the MLS. There’s nothing wrong with Stu and Jozy earning their stripes in the Championship. If they are as good as we’d like to believe, they will play extremely well in the Championship and earn their way back to the Prem. There are numerous talented young players that top squads loan out to Championship sides (or squads in relegation battles) and come back for the better. Stu should go now. He’s outgrown MLS.

  30. Luke says:

    Bolton has a solid midfield for a mid-table EPL team. All the starters and most of their subs are solid. He is not going to break into the starting lineup and he might be luckey to make the sub bench. The only consistant action he might see for Bolton is in reserve games.

  31. Isaac says:

    I disagree. I don’t think Holden is a physical monster, but he does have some bite to his game(I mean, the kid broke the New York Red Bulls’ Carlos Johnson’s foot). Plus, what he lacks in physical ability, he makes up for in technical ability and tactical awareness. I think Holden would be able to deal with the Championship.

    Of course, nobody knows if Blackburn are even going down so this is a specualtive and potentially moot point.

  32. El Michael says:

    Also had Jozy gone to a mid table team I think he would have faired much better by now. Playing for a team like Hull is not an ideal situation for Jozy. Having one of your best payers (19/20 years of age) having the responsiblilty to lead the team is unfair.

  33. Charles says:

    Well if Ryan says it, it must be true.

  34. Me three. Holden following Coyle to Bolton has to be a good sign.

  35. baquito alyeska says:

    He’s singing the national anthem during the pre-game. He gets pretty enthused.

  36. attenborough says:

    I think Stu will find his place somewhere in Europe, but I hope Ricardo Clark had the foresight enough to buy a round-trip ticket.

  37. south says:

    Bolton are a team that are on the down right now, hence why they fired their manager.

    They need to be BETTER than they are THIS season.

    Coyle is appropriate in saying that it is pointless to add anything less than a ‘better than’ player, adding some ‘good as’ doesn’t help them escape a low league finish.

    That said, I think Holden is better than most of the Bolton midfield and that his work-rate and final touch will land him a starting spot @ Bolton. His delivery has been unreal for the USMNT and if he’s replicating that at Bolton he’ll be a hit.

  38. Barry U says:

    Stu is a good player. He played well in the Gold Cup, Olympics, MLS and WCQ. So talent is not the issue. Getting accustomed to the pace of the EPL is the most important thing. If he can do that he will be fine.

  39. Austin says:

    thats what i feel like saying…..

    Ryan, you arent backing anything up here….what players? What makes you think Holden would be a better player playing in one of THE MOST PHYSICAL leagues in the world when he is just not that type of player?


    I dont like to use this to compare leagues, but lets just take 5 good MLS players(and im not even mentioning the best, but you can argue that they are very good) and you can go ahead and compare them to any 5 championship players, then tell me the level of play is considerably higher in the championship

    Freddie Ljungberg

    Chad Marshall

    Shalrie Joseph

    Dwayne de Rosario

    Conor Casey

    it wouldnt be an upgrade of a league and its not his style

  40. Zack Lewis says:

    I know we are trying to give the USMNT experience versus the English teams, because we’re playing England in the WC, BUT remember their coach is Italian through and through. England will field a 4-5-1; a very defensive formation and play for a 1-0 victory.

    I would much rather send Stu to an Italian club and go right to the source of defensive football and the style of game that Stu will be facing. If it wasn’t for John Terry’s ugly mug and haircut, I’d think he was an Italian by his play.

    In addtion, Eff Bolton! They’re relegation trash. That’s all the USMNT needs is a player with his confidence shook up, because he goes to losing club for three months and then drops down to the pub leagues of england.

  41. John K says:

    Am I the only one thinking this doesn’t work out for Holden right now in the EPL? I have a feeling he ends up back in Houston again, and maybe he moves after the World Cup. It does worry me that nothing has been offered yet. The Dynamo beat writer has a lot of contact with Stuart and the Dynamo, and he still thinks (as of this week) that Stuart will be wearing Orange come the start of the MLS season.

  42. John K says:

    I don’t think Rico is having trouble finding a team. Stuart is a more high profile player, so that’s why he’s getting the press. Rico is very under the radar, but I think his situation is more concrete.

  43. bryan says:

    but that also goes against what you said above…which was that he would be in the Championship next year.

    i think everyone agrees that Hull won’t keep him unless he can score 5,6, 7 goals in the next few games. otherwise, it is back to Villarreal to probably get loaned again or sold for good.

  44. Hull’s finances are in the crapper, so I doubt they will put up the money to buy him. If they are heading back to the Championship, Jozy will probably head back to Spain.

    Hull is a terrible side that have no midfield. He should go back to Villareal, so he can learn how the game is really played.

    EPL is not the best league. It is probably the best attended league. The football is overrated. Look at Ronaldo in La LIga. He is not having the same impact for Real Madrid as he did for Man Utd.

  45. Turgid Jacobian says:

    If Bolton signs him, he gets loaned out to a CCCship side probably, anyhow, since they have a first and second unit they like right now already.

  46. HoneyHell says:

    There is more to this than just going to England and possilby facing challenges of regular PT and relegation battles.

    Short Term: Training and Fighting for a roster spot NOW on a EPL/Championship Team Vs. MLS offseason and a given spot on the starting IV once the league starts up in March. Personally I think it would do Holden good to compete for PT, as I don’t see him as part of our Starting IV at the WC, unless BB does make the move to put Dempsey up top as a striker.

    Long Term: Even if Bolton do drop down a League Holden would still be able to make significant improvements. If they don’t drop down a league then having another player playing in the EPL would be great. And if it doesn’t work out he can always come back to MLS.

    IMO….going to Bolton is a Win/Win for Holden and the USNT.

  47. BAJ says:

    The Championship is not a bad thing for U.S. Players. In fact I think it is a great place to grow. Convey did amazing at Reading and was a very important part of Reading’s record breaking season that saw them promoted. Convey just never overcame injury. Much of Demerit’s grit has been developed in the championship.

  48. Chanpions of England says:

    Well the main issue is that he has been hurt. He does have 7 goals in 9 games which I would call quite an impact. Real Madrid do not look like the same side when he is not in the startin XI.

  49. cfig says:

    I haven’t seen them play much, but browsing their message boards they seem to feel they’re really weak on the left and that Lee wasn’t necessarily impressing yet either. I’m assuming he isn’t going somewhere where he won’t play as he knows how critical that is to his South Africa spot, I guess we’ll see.

  50. Sammy Gupta says:

    a little off-topic, but does anyone know what the deal is with Ricardo Clark? I’m worried that I haven’t heard anything in this transfer market thus far, and hope he locks in somewhere soon since he wants to make our South Africa squad

  51. cfig says:

    People keep saying that Holden should resign with the Dynamo but he can’t just resign a year long contract as MLS doesn’t offer one. If he resigns with MLS any team wanting him is going to have to pay a large transfer fee to MLS which many will have a hard time doing for an unproven player. He’s now a free transfer, hence a much more attractive prospect.

    I also wonder if the potential work stoppage in MLS has some guys more strongly considering Europe, especially those with World Cup aspirations.

  52. Austin says:

    Celtic, Burnley, Livorno, and Bolton have all been suiters…..

    Rico is just looking for the perfect offer, if he doesnt get on with a club in time for the close of the january market then he will just sign back on with MLS, not a big deal….

  53. Austin says:

    did you read the article?

    “Stuart has come in and trained well with us”

    sounds to me like he is doing WELL….getting loaned out would mean he wasnt ready, i dont know how “well” translates to getting loaned out in your brain Turgid

    They also said that they wouldnt sign him unless they knew he would be an upgrade for the team

  54. MVK says:

    Holden needs to go over, his ability is more highlighted when there are better players around him to finish those incredible crosses he bends in. He is the US Beckham

  55. kenny_b says:

    Isn’t Holden a free transfer? I am wondering if Coyle was more interested in Holden at Burnley than at Bolton. My guess is that his transfer budget and player salary budgets are limited and if his midfield has decent depth (I don’t follow Bolton closely) than he needs to be careful where he spends his money….This Season. Maybe the need help elsewhere on the field.

  56. Austin says:

    MLS offered him a very lucrative contract and he most certainly is not unproven and wouldnt be unproven after more time with the US like at the world cup….European clubs will have no problem coming back for Holden with a transfer fee

    Rangers bought Edu from Toronto and you can say Holden is unproven now then you could say Edu was unproven back then

  57. Charles says:

    I hope so, and I hate Houston.

    But the money is probably a lot more. Obviously MLS is going to have trouble competing with England’s wages with the amount of $ the big teams bring in, but hopefully there are other things to consider.

    You CAN win the league here

    You live in the US…he might like both

    but Houston vs England for weather ?

    No playing for 21st place next year

  58. Turgid Jacobian says:

    Right, well, since the article encompasses all known information about the topic, I guess that’s that.

  59. Adam from Cali says:

    I hate to burst the bubble for many of you, but Holden has mentioned in several interviews since the end of the MLS season that the World Cup will not immediately affect his decision on where he goes. He has stated that he believes in his ability and believes that he will be able to succeed wherever he goes, so he is going to make the best decision for his long term career. He obviously knows that he has a great opportunity to play in South Africa, but he isn’t going to let the fear of not playing (or not making the WC squad) drive his decision on whether he goes or stays.

  60. cfig says:

    I realize MLS offered him a lot of cash, but his is unproven as far as playing in a high level European league (as was/is Jozy).

    He and Edu aren’t really comparable situations, Edu was pretty raw and just a great athlete. You better believe Holden, who will become the poster boy of MLS if Donovan leaves, would cost a LOT more than Edu did.

  61. south says:

    No, you go when you have the chance, because for all we know there may not even be an MLS next season, or he may get injured, etc.

    Doors like these don’t stay open for eternity, Holden needs to make the jump while he can and it’s a free transfer.

  62. Tim says:

    EPL is not the best attended league. Bundesliga is. It is the most watched league though.

  63. Austin says:

    Holden has played a bit more for the national team as far as that goes though…..definately more than Jozy and Edu at that time

    and Donovan seems to be pretty loyal to LA right now, so i wouldnt be surprised if he just stayed in MLS the rest of his career and kept going on loan to Europe

  64. nico says:

    With Zaki on the verge of joining Hull, I wonder what Jozy’s playing time will look like.

  65. Keep in mind that Holden will add something that Coyle has specifically said he wants to bring to the team. Coyle had a specific style of play at Burnley– kinda like West Brom last year, with a better defense. One can imagine that the reason he wanted Holden on trial at Burnley is that he thought Holden would fit in with that system. Upon taking the job at Bolton he said he wanted to get away from the direct style that Bolton has been playing. I’d say Holden has a good chance if that’s what Coyle really wants to bring.

  66. Greg says:

    Here are six for good measure just off the top of my head… Geremi, Marek Cech, Jay Bothroyd, Robbie Savage, Wayne Routledge, and of course, Jay Demerit. Whats more, I would argue that some of your list would be no better than average in CCLC…with Conor Casey being downright poor.

    But I think you are missing the point… the quality of a league is not determined by the quality of its best players, but of its middling-worst. We can take 5 of the best players from many “lower” leagues (Poland, Greece, Argentina, even Japanese) and they can contribute at a high level in MLS.

    We may disagree about this point as well, but I consider the DEPTH of the Championship infinitely better than that of the MLS, and not just in talent. Facilities, coaching, competition in training, training itself, pressure environments, etc. are all superior in the “Fizzy Drink” league.

    It is definately an upgrade and as for “style,” it would be better for his development were he being challenged to adapt to all types of styles right?

    Im with Ryan.

  67. andrew in tampa says:

    this blog is getting so annoying with all these Debbie downer, sky is falling, chicken little, ignorant comments. Guys, celebrate Stu’s success. If he succeeds great, if he doesn’t- at least he’ll still get paid. The world won’t end if it doesn’t work out. US soccer won’t die if Stu fails. Lighten up.

  68. Keith G. says:

    I am going to say you will be seeing Holden playing for the Dynamo next season. I just see Bolton making some excuse to why they wont sign him now but maybe later. As for Jozy, I think if he is going to go down in England, then he might as well go back to the MLS, because I really do think that they are equal in play. He should come to the MLS where you know he will be a starter and wait to go back to Europe in 2 or 3 years. If Jozy where to stay in England, I would love if he went to Arsenal. If he were to be coached by Arsene Wenger, I think he would deffently become the best player the US national team has ever had.

  69. Lil' Zeke says:

    Maybe you were looking for this?

    link to

  70. Sports Index says:

    I am a big fan of American sports and regularly read blogs associated with sports from NFL, NBA and NHL to international games like soccer. I am a huge fan of your news and sports index, USA Today rocks! Keep up the good work in 2010!

  71. Ian says:

    I’m concerned by this move. If he transfers to England and promptly finds himself on the bench through the World Cup we’ll be out another excellent contributor. If he plays a lot then it’s a great move. Of course, if MLS closes its doors than training in the Prem is far more valuable. I personally wish he’d stick it out for another year in MLS, then make the move. Regardless, I’ll be behind his decision but I sure hope it’s for the better for not only him but the Nats as well.

  72. Dclark0 says:

    As a Bolton fan i would be in favor of signing him. The biggest problem we have is a lack of any sort of creative presence in central midfield. Lee has been a breath of fresh air on the wing, but Taylor and Muamba have been out of form and while Cohen and McCann are hard workers, they don’t offer much beyond that. Even if Holden could get in the squad as a late game sub, I think his his passing skills would make him a useful signing, particularly on a free transfer. I think if Coyle didn’t think he could play a role this season, he wouldn’t have taken Holden with him after he moved.

    Also I would make the case that Bolton isn’t a prime candidate for relegation this season. We have three games in hand on most of the table and are still only five points out of 12th. If you look at some of the other teams at the bottom (Pompey, Wolves, Hull, Blackburn, Burnley) they’re in a lot more trouble than we are, especially now that Coyle is in charge and the attitude around the club is a lot more positive than it’s been in quite some time.

  73. Micah King says:

    He seemed a little out of form the last national team games.

  74. 4now says:

    I agree with Micah. He’s may be ready to headline a USA B-roster at the Gold Cup or an MLS Best IX match, but I don’t think he’s ready to step up and play week in – week out in the EPL, IMO.

    I think he has the potential, but he will need to develop first. At this stage in his career, I think he’s your ideal 70th minute substitute at this level.