Dreamy team: Step forward Stuart Holden

As a football-loving kid in Aberdeen, Stuart – Stu – Holden spent a lot of time dreaming of soccer stardom. So it was dream come true when the 24-year-old ran out into the South African sunshine as a second-half substitute on Saturday

Stu who moved to Houston, Texas when he was 10 is a member of the American World Cup squad.

If the journey from Scots schoolkid to stateside sporting superstar seems a long one, it’s only just longer than the brave player’s recovery from injury that threatened to end his career.

Bolton Wanderers player Stu speaks with an American accent most of the time, unless he’s talking to someone from Scotland.

He lists his greatest achievement outside football as winning the 2009 USSF Dynamo Humanitarian of the Year award.

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His close family – now based in Texas – was shattered last year when his dad died after a six-year battle with cancer. Holden has worn a livestrong bracelet ever since to remember him by, and covers it with tape during games.

The ambidextrous player has been favourably compared to a young David Beckham.

Talking about his time at Bolton, he told the Daily Record: “There's a lot of banter in our dressing room about my Scottish roots and playing for the USA against England.

"The Scottish people all want to see us beat England. Having been a Scotland fan as a kid, I know all about the rivalry and the passion, that's for sure.”

He broke his leg in March during a friendly with Holland and there were fears he would not be recovered in time.


 

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