We were all hoping Stuart Holden’s latest comeback for Bolton Wanderers would be a successful one that could potentially see him make a late charge for the U.S. national team squad at this summer’s World Cup.
Now the U.S. soccer community waits with bated breath to find out if that still has a chance of happening.
According to Bolton’s official Twitter feed, Holden broke down after just 22 minutes of his comeback match for Bolton’s U-21 side against Everton on Monday night.
The former Houston Dynamo midfielder was playing in his first game since tearing his ACL in his right knee during the USA’s 1-0 CONCACAF Gold Cup final win over Panama back in July. On Monday Bolton announced that after the American midfielder had initially clutched his right knee, his night was over. “Holden is down on the turf again after reaching for a loose ball. Doesn’t look good,” Bolton tweeted.
Updates since the initial injury occurred seem promising, as the Championship club revealed that 28-year-old Holden was able to walk down the tunnel without any help.
However if this injury is another setback for Holden, it will be a damaging blow in his late bid to make Jurgen Klinsmann’s World Cup squad. His string of serious injuries date back to 2010 when he horrifically broke his leg while playing for the USA against the Netherlands but Holden still managed to make one appearance at the 2010 World Cup vs. England. However he then injured his left knee against Manchester United in a tackle with Jonny Evans in March 2011 which kept him out for over a year. Holden has had nothing but bad luck with his fitness since.
Despite all of that, the energetic midfielder has stayed in and around the USMNT picture and trained with the squad as a guest player during the January camp in California earlier this year.
Here’s the latest from Bolton, with more details to trickle through from Lancashire soon.
Bayern Munich midfielder Arturo Vidal has declared “ugly” Atletico Madrid unworthy finalists in the UEFA Champions League.
Bayern was eliminated in the Champions League semifinal by Atleti on Tuesday, with Diego Simeone’s Spanish side advancing on away goals.
[ FOLLOW: All of PST’s UCL coverage ]
However, Vidal believed Bayern were the better team in the second leg, saying Atletico played “ugly football” to get through.
Today ugly football – Atletico – played against the best football in the world. The only time they saw the ball was for the goal.
They are going to be dreaming about us right up to the final. They did not have the ball, they took on the best team in the world, they took their chances and got to the final.
The best does not always win in football, like today. They are not deserved finalists.
Bayern Munich controlled more than 70-percent of possession and had 33 shots compared to Atletico’s nine, but those stats mean little as Antoine Griezmann’s away goal was enough to send Atleti to the final.
[ MORE: Former England striker Joe Cole headed to NASL’s Tampa Bay Rowdies ]
Atletico may not play the most attractive football, but after eliminating Barcelona and Bayern Munich in consecutive legs, it’s hard to argue anyone deserves this more than Simeone’s men.
The second leg of the Europa League semifinals kick off tomorrow, with two La Liga sides looking to make it an all-Spanish final.
[ MORE: Premier League Playback ]
Villarreal holds a 1-0 lead over Liverpool, while Sevilla scored two away goals in their 2-2 draw at Shakhtar Donetsk.
Liverpool vs. Villarreal – 3:05 p.m. ET
Villarreal won first leg 1-0
Adrian Lopez’s late winner in the first leg has given Villarreal a slight lead, while the Spanish side did well not to concede an away goal. However, Liverpool have overcome deficits at Anfield before, including their memorable 4-3 victory over Borussia Dortmund in the quarterfinals. Emre Can is back fit for the Reds, as manager Jurgen Klopp will hope his fellow German can help the team to a cup final in his first year in charge.
[ RELATED: Liverpool preparing for another big Thursday night at Anfield ]
Sevilla vs. Shakhtar Donetsk – 3:05 p.m. ET
First leg ended 2-2 draw
Sevilla are looking to become the first team to win three consecutive Europa League titles as the two-time defending champions face off against Shakhtar Donetsk. Sevilla are in the driver’s seat after scoring two away goals in Ukraine, and will feel confident of advancing to the final with a great home record at the Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan Stadium.
In the latest Men in Blazers podcast, Rog and Davo celebrate Leicester City’s improbable Premier League title with Leicester’s own Arlo White.
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LISBON, Portugal (AP) Portuguese and European police say they have broken up a cell of an important Russian mafia group that allegedly laundered money through European football clubs.
Europol, the European Union’s law enforcement agency, said in a statement Wednesday the group identified EU football clubs in financial distress and infiltrated them with benefactors who brought much-needed cash.
[ MORE: Man City bounced from UCL ]
Once they were in control, the mobsters allegedly laundered millions of euros (dollars) through player transfers, TV rights deals and betting.
Portuguese and European police on Tuesday raided third-division Portuguese club Uniao de Leiria and arrested three key members of the Russian gang. Three other Portuguese clubs’ premises were searched.
Europol said the operation helped identify serious crimes in Austria, Germany, and the United Kingdom, though it gave no details.