042413_isi_holdenstuart_bpi_birmcityvboltwand.d05t Joe Toth/isiphotos.com

Morning Read: Holden at Bolton; Dempsey Debated

Just as Stuart Holden has scratched and clawed his way back into game shape, Bolton Wanderers have climbed into the Championship top six. Holden could help Bolton earn promotion to the Premier League.
BY John Godfrey Posted
April 24, 2013
9:45 AM
  • Stuart Holden’s road to recovery has been fraught with potholes, detours, poor directions from that awful app that Apple subbed in for Google Maps…but he’s finally back at Bolton. And just in time, too. With two games left in the Championship regular season, Bolton is back in the top six, which means a string of good performances could lift the squad back into the English Premier League. Sheffield Wednesday wanted to keep Holden on loan, but Bolton boss Dougie Freedman apparently plans to utilize the well-coiffed midfielder in the Wanderers most crucial stretch of games. Good for Holden. Good for Bolton.

  • On American shores, Clint Dempsey’s quality is rarely questioned. (According to the most recent ASN 100, Dempsey is our second-best U.S. player, just a few votes behind Michael Bradley. A new ASN 100 ranking is coming out May 1.) But not all Tottenham fans are sold on Deuce, as evidenced by this thread which has been unspooling since before Dempsey signed with Spurs. Despite his timely goals in both the Europa and Premier leagues, there are still many Tottenham fans who don’t think Dempsey is up to snuff. Kind of amazing.

  • Also kind of amazing: How about Jack McInerney’s start to the season? With six goals in seven matches, the 20-year-old Philadelphia Union forward stands alone atop Major League Soccer’s most important statistical category. We’ve written about him. Other sites have written about him. But if you’d like to hear from McInerney himself, check out Extra Time Radio’s interview, in which the opportunistic striker discusses his strong start, his ambitions, and the United States men’s national team. Good stuff.

  • Will Sunil Gulati’s election to the FIFA Executive Committee prove to be good stuff for American soccer fans? Hard to say. While a nice bullet point on Gulati’s resume—if you don’t mind being associated with a notoriously corrupt organization, that is—it remains to be seen if Gulati can change things from the inside. For his direct quotes on the election, go here.

  • And speaking of direct quotes, MLS Commissioner Don Garber offered up some tasty tidbits via an impromptu Twitter chat yesterday. Among his revelations, Garber mentioned five cities—New York City, Miami, Orlando, Sacramento(!), and St. Louis—while discussing MLS expansion possibilities. He teased us about a few big player signings expected this summer. And he explained to Herculez Gomez why Sporting Kansas City still owns the Santos Laguna striker’s MLS rights. (It involves some Byzantine rule about contract offers and right of first refusal.)

  • Oh, and Bayern Munich kicked Barcelona’s ass yesterday. Will today's Borussia Dortmund-Real Madrid Champions League contest provide a bit more drama? Let's hope so.
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