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Holden Is DeRo's Ready-Made Replacement
Houston Chronicle, December 16th, 2008 1:15PM

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The Houston Dynamo let Dwayne De Rosario leave for Toronto FC last week because it knew his ideal replacement was already on the roster, writes Bernardo Fallas. That player is Stuart Holden, "the Scotland native and Houston-area product who has turned heads since his rookie season."

"I've been waiting three years to earn a starting spot, so I'm ready to step up," said Holden, who is recovering from recent sports hernia surgery. "So I'm looking forward to it. It's an exciting time." He is coming off a year when he played 27 games (18 starts), and tallied seven goals and six assists in all competitions. He also represented the U.S. at the Beijing Olympics.

Holden played mostly as an outside left when De Rosario was in the team, but moved to attacking midfielder when the Canadian playmaker was absent. "I've always thought that [attacking mid] was my best position," Holden said. "This year I got to play most of my minutes there, and I think I proved to [Dynamo coach] Dom [Kinnear] that I can play in central midfield, and not only play but score and be a threat."

The team is in talks with Holden about a long-term deal that should secure a significant pay increase, even though he still has a season left on his contract. His stellar play and British passport could make him prey to European interest. Holden will of course listen to offers, but is happy at home in Houston. Besides, "I know I have to earn [the starting spot]," he said. "I have to work for it -- they're not going to hand it to me."

 

 

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