English FA Cup: Red-hot Duane Holmes unlocks door for Derby County

One of the hottest Americans in Europe is a player few U.S. fans know about: Duane Holmes.

The 24-year-old winger, born in Columbus, Georgia, and raised in England, has been a big factor in Derby County's run in the FA Cup and its spot in the hunt for a spot in the League Championship's promotion playoffs.

Holmes, who has started four of the last five games for first-year manager Frank Lampard, assisted on Martyn Waghorn's goal in the 78th minute that moved the Rams into the fifth round of the FA Cup with a 1-0 win at League One Accrington Stanley on Saturday.

“Duane was good for the goal and good in other parts of the game because with these games you need someone to unlock the door with that skill and burst of pace and he did that a couple of times in the game,” Lamoard said afterwards. “We were at 80 percent for a lot of the game and Duane has a moment at 100 percent and creates the goal and I’m pleased for Martyn Waghorn because he’s in good form. He is working hard for the team and getting his goals.”

Born to an American father and an English mother, Holmes has lived in England since he was 4. He started his pro career at Huddersfield Town, then in the second-tier Championship, and spent the last two seasons at Scunthorpe in the third-tier League One.

A week ago, he scored his first league goal for Derby in a 2-1 win over Reading. The Rams sit sixth in the Championship after 28 games.

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