In the 18th minute of the Gold Cup Final v Panama, Stu Holden went to ground, clutching his right knee after hitting the left one against that of Alberto Quintero's. The Panama attacker had just won the ball off of the Americans and was streaking down his left flank in a hotly-contested cup final. Michael Parkhurst was ahead of Quintero and Holden was coming in behind. Stu received treatment on the field before walking off on his own power back to the locker room.
The official word from US Soccer at halftime was a sprained knee for Stu with further evaluation coming up afterwards in the form of an MRI. Bolton Wanderers' own doctors will surely want to examine the midfielder himself to hand down their own prognosis but after the match, Jurgen Klinsmann made it pretty clear that the situation wasn't great.
"It's not looking good for Stu."
Those were Jurgen Klinsmann's words in the post-match press conference after the celebration in the locker room died down. Others present at the presser relayed the fact that Klinsmann kept referring to the situation as "serious." ESPN's Jeff Carlisle would also tell me that the staff are very concerned about the injury and that Jurgen Klinsmann believed it was a "serious knee injury," in Jeff's words.
Stu, who has had enough injury trouble on his own over the last two years to fill a whole team's quota, put off his worries for another day as he celebrated winning his first trophy with the national team. Holden played 254 minutes in six matches for the United States, starting three matches and averaging just under 60 minutes per game prior to the final. After the match, Holden tweeted:
For all that know me + have supported me, I hope u know I will always prevail no matter what the outcome. Fingers crossed. Let's celebrate!— Stuart Holden (@stuholden) July 28, 2013
At the moment, it's looking like Stu as a long road back to full fitness but as he proved in the comeback from the last injury, Stu won't be holding back.
One of the more moving moments from the USA's Gold Cup celebrations: Omar Gonzalez carried Stu Holden onto the field. pic.twitter.com/PyMPhrOn4q— FOX Soccer (@FOXSoccer) July 28, 2013
Amazing feeling to win the tournament. Thx for all the msgs, will update every1 when I kno more.✌ #noholdenback pic.twitter.com/1ylNeiyvaq— Stuart Holden (@stuholden) July 28, 2013
Gold cup champions USA USA USA !!! pic.twitter.com/gXgxYNtqzn— Stuart Holden (@stuholden) July 28, 2013