It has been some two-and-a-half years since Stu Holden last suited up for the United States Men's National Team. His last two outings for the Americans came in a pair of friendlies in October 2010. Those matches were against Poland in Chicago and Colombia in Philadelphia. In those two games, Holden went a total of 97 minutes before being left out of the USMNT's friendlies against South Africa and Chile in the coming months where Head Coach Bob Bradley elected to go with youth.
No one needs to be reminded of Holden's long injury layoff but the comeback is a good story. After nearly two years away from the game, Holden was reintroduced into the Bolton fold in an FA Cup match against Sunderland. He would go 17 minutes in that game before going for another 10 against Everton some 11 days later. Holden would make just one league appearance for Bolton Wanderers, going 63 minutes against Peterborough United following an injury to Mark Davies.
Stu would then go on loan to Sheffield Wednesday, starting four times for the Owls and going about an hour in each appearance, with the exception of a match away to Leeds where he played 72 minutes. Upon returning to Bolton, Holden would play just one minute, coming on in the 90th minute of the season's penultimate game.
Back to the present where the United States Men's National Team were set to take on Belgium in a pre-World Cup Qualifying friendly in Cleveland. Jurgen Klinsmann would go with Jermaine Jones and Sacha Kljestan in the center of defense with Stuart Holden on the bench, wearing the number 11 shirt.
It was a long wait for fans but Holden would finally make his comeback, coming on as an 80th minute substitute for Sacha Kljestan in the center of midfield with the United States losing by a score of 2-4. It really is a wonderful sight watching Holden make the rounds on the pitch once more. His stint was a short one at just ten minutes (and added time) but it a major step in the right direction for Stu and Bolton Wanderers. Stu only had time to make a few passes, none of which were able to positively affect proceedings but he had put a good shift in for such a brief spell on the field.
The US will now travel to Washington DC for a friendly match with Germany to celebrate the federation's centennial. That match takes place on Sunday at RFK Stadium with a kickoff time of 2:30PM EST, 7:30PM GMT.