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Holden gets good news and bad
by Paul Kennedy, March 5th, 2010 4:36AM

TAGS:  americans abroad, england, men's national team, netherlands, world cup


[AMERICANS ABROAD] There was good news and bad news for Stuart Holden. The bad news: The injury he suffered when he was taken out on a tackle by Manchester City midfielder Nigel de Jong during the USA's 2-1 loss to the Netherlands Wednesday in Amsterdam was a fractured fibula in his right leg that will sideline him six weeks. The good news: Bolton Wanderers, the English club at which he had just made his debut a week earlier, thinks so much of him that it will extend his contract beyond the initial short term ending on June 30. Meanwhile, de Jong showed little remorse for the foul and yellow card, which he said "are part of soccer" ...

"It's disappointing for Stuart because he has come into the team and done ever so well," said Bolton manager Owen Coyle. "What we do know is he will come back bigger and stronger, but it is sad for him to miss out at this moment in time. He's come in with a real hunger and desire to do well for our club, and in the two games he's played, we've seen his quality."

Holden's injury, which follows a thigh injury he suffered in mid-January and delayed his debut with Bolton, means he'll miss all but the final month of the EPL season. But Coyle said he's seen enough from Holden to want to keep him.

"We've already spoken with him and his representative to assure him he will be here for longer because of the belief I have in him, and the quality he has shown since he came to the club," Coyle added. "When we signed him, within the contract there was the option there to extend it further, which we will do. It augurs well for his future and that of the football club."

De Jong, meanwhile, showed little remorse for the foul, which resulted in a yellow card.

"Such offenses are part of soccer," he said on the Dutch federation web site. "I went for the ball and got the opponent at the end. I had no evil intent. If the ball is between me and the opponent, you have to go in full. If you do not, then the opponent takes you. And if you're scared in a game, you get injured yourself."

  1. Stephen Jones
    commented on: March 5, 2010 at 8:52 a.m.
    International football is a physical game and not for the faint-hearted. Having said that, De Jong's challenge was two feet, studs up, and very, very late. It was an extremely reckless challenge for which he should have been straight red-carded. Given all of the ticky-tack, touch fouls that were called against the U.S. in that game, this very late and hard tackle was all the more egregious. I feel badly for Holden and for the U.S. side. This injury was the result of a reckless foul and should not be considered "part of soccer."
  1. Steve Rafferty
    commented on: March 5, 2010 at 9:25 a.m.
    Ditto here. De Jong showed no class and in my opinion is a "hack"... what goes around will come around.
  1. T michael Flinn
    commented on: March 5, 2010 at 9:46 a.m.
    DeJong should receive additional dscipline fro FiFa.
  1. Bruce Mazurkewicz
    commented on: March 5, 2010 at 11:06 a.m.
    Both Steve and Stephen are correct - don't know if you guys are referees, but FIFA has been supposedly cracking down on these dangerous tackles for the last two years - the referee in the game showed no gut - straight send off (red card) - no questions and no doubt about it.
  1. rob serrano
    commented on: March 5, 2010 at 11:14 a.m.
    FIFA should really take action aginst De Jong. After a fracture, a player can not perform 100%, not even with the best rehab, because that fracture becomes one of the weakest spots in a player's body. It was a "friendly game" there was no need to tackle like that. De Jong hope you know what Karma is... FIFA where is your Fair Play?
  1. Iema mose
    commented on: March 5, 2010 at 12:46 p.m.
    de jong should have gotten a red for a "reckless & dangerous" challenge. however, let's not start with hyperbole. I'm a bioengineer & I will say some fractures result in 100% recovery. We do not have all the details (hairline/displaced etc), & it's the fibula (smaller bone) not Tibia.
  1. Gerald Laing
    commented on: March 5, 2010 at 2:27 p.m.
    Gee, how many red cards did we get in the Confederations Cup for that kind of tackle? Holden could have suffered a similar injury the Ramsey did this past weekend.
  1. Alex G. Sicre
    commented on: March 5, 2010 at 2:56 p.m.
    De Jong didnt need to come in that hard with studs up. He should have received a straight red card. What does the ref have to see, both legs broken? At least Shawcross did show remorse when he came in on Ramsay. EPL defenders have the reputation, and well deserved, of Hacking any player that is creative and attempting to play the beautiful game. De Jong should be ashamed of himself, but of course he's proud of his recklessnes. Some how, some day he'll get his, and deservedly so.
  1. Brian Herbert
    commented on: March 5, 2010 at 3:35 p.m.
    This is what Paul Gardner was terming "reckless" play. Unfortunately the goon deJong seems to actually hint at malicious intent, unlike the goon Shawcross who seemed saddened. Nevertheless, look at replays, the swinging leg motion and the outcome are strikingly similar, so, are we trying to create a wimpy sport by punishing this type of tackle? No, we just need to get on the same page. The unacceptable scenario goes as follows: a player doesn't have a clean angle on a tackle of the ball, so he chops or sweeps with the leg, knowing that he will get both ball and opponent's leg in the process. The motion will almost surely result in a hard, blunt force impact on the opponents leg or foot. Only a standard policy of a straight red plus a multiple-game suspension will turn this dangerous trend (and how about a fine paid to the player that was fouled, that would be hard for a goon to swallow!) There, if that is enforced by refs, all is well again in soccer, and we move forward.

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