Bolton Wanderers (2010-present)
The Americal international, who joined in January 2010 from Houston Dynamo, has proven to be a real hit at the Reebok Stadium. Having endured a stop-start first six months, his career with Bolton really took off in his first full season as he became a focal point in central midfield.
Holden was handed the number eight shirt at the start of the 2010/11 campaign and went on to make a total 26 appearances in the Premier League before his season was brought to an unfortunate end at Old Trafford in March. The Aberdeen-born man was hurt in a challenge with Johnny Evans and was forced to undergo surgery on a knee injury.
Still, having previously chipped in with goals against Wolves and Blackburn, Holden’s displays had been recognized amongst the Wanderers faithful and he was the proud recipient of the 2011 Bolton Wanderers Player of the Year trophy.
Holden, who was born in Scotland, arrived at the Reebok with the reputation as an attack-minded midfielder, who has spent the vast majority of his career in the MLS. Prior to his move to Bolton, the 24-year-old represented Houston Dynamo for three-and-a-half years, helping the Texas-based club to become the MLS Cup Winners in 2006.
Holden’s deal with the Bolton Wanderers will run until the summer of 2013.
Stuart Alistair Holden was born on August 1st, 1985 in Aberdeen, Scotland. He grew up in Aberdeen, playing soccer for the Aberdeen FC School of Excellence until age 10. In 1995, Stuart and his family moved to Houston, Texas, where his father, Brian, worked for Chevron Corporation in its human resources department. After playing two years at Clemson University, Stuart signed with English club Sunderland in March 2005. His time at Sunderland was plagued by injuries, which prompted him to return home to Major League Soccer in January 2006.
Stuart Holden was named to the United States 2009 Gold Cup squad. Stuart scored a goal for the U.S. in his national team debut against Grenada on July 4, 2009. On July 11, 2009, he 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 due to his superior play throughout the tournament with 2 goals and 3 assists.
Holden was named to the USA’s 2010 World Cup squad which advanced to the round of 16. He played in one match, as a substitute versus England.
Houston Dynamo (2006-09)
2009: Named to the MLS Best XI … Named as an All-Star for the first time in his career … Earned career highs in starts (26), minutes played (2,340) and goals (6) … Following the departure of Dwayne de Rosario, Holden partnered with fellow MNT midfielder Ricardo Clark in the center of the Houston midfield … 2008: Appeared in 27 games, scoring three goals and adding four assists … Named the Houston Dynamo’s Player of the Year and also the Humanitarian of the Year … 2007: Enjoyed a breakout year for the Dynamo, making 22 appearances and scoring five goals with five assists … Scored one goal in Dynamo’s playoff run en route to a second consecutive MLS Cup title … 2006: Made professional debut for the Dynamo on May 27 … Converted a penalty kick in championship game shootout against New England.
Appeared in all three games during the 2008 Olympics … Scored the winning goal against Japan on Aug. 7 in the Olympics … Started four out of five games in the CONCACAF Olympic Qualifying tournament, earning an assist in the 3-0 semifinal victory against Canada that clinched an Olympic berth.
Played three semesters at Clemson, started both freshman and sophomore seasons, and left after signing with Sunderland in England … Second-team All-ACC sophomore year … Scored five goals and six assists in two soccer campaigns … Clemson made the NCAA Tournament both years … On athletes’ honor roll freshman spring semester.
Stuart was capped eleven times as a United States youth international at the U-20 level. Early in 2007, he was called in to the U.S. 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 Stuart was named to the U.S. squad competing in the 2008 Beijing Olympics. On August 7 he scored in the USA’s opening match, a 1-0 victory against Japan. He was nominated for the “USA Young Player of the Year” award at the end of 2008.
Holden was twice named the Houston Dynamo’s Humanitarian of the Year. He was also one of 10 finalists for the prestigious Jefferson Award in 2009 … he founded Holden’s Heroes, an organization designed to bring happiness to young cancer patients.