Category Archives: Slideshow

Stuart Holden Interview: Holden making the best of his chances at Bolton

Stuart Holden established himself as one of the United State's best players while playing for Major League Soccer team the Houston Dynamo. Holden made the move to the English Premier League last January. Since his arrival at Bolton, Holden's solidified himself as a top-notch midfielder. (Courtesy Wikicommons/Longbomb)

By Kevin Koczwara

Owen Coyle saw something in Stuart Holden the rest of the English Premier League missed, and he signed the American international after Holden impressed the manager during a trial. Since, Holden hasn’t disappointed the Wanderers’ supporters.

In fact, the 25-year old has taken the Premier League by storm in his first full season in Bolton after playing out his contract with Major League Soccer and the Houston Dynamo. Holden was voted by the fans as the league’s best player for the first half of the season in The Guardian because of his stellar play. With his hard work, pace and skill, it isn’t hard to see why he’s become a fan favorite not only in Bolton, but also across England. Holden has been an integral part of Coyle’s side fighting for a European place next season.

In 28 appearances this season for the Wanderers, Holden’s scored two goals. His two goals sealed important wins for Bolton, but it was his second that established him as a Bolton favorite.

On Dec. 12, Holden ghosted into the Blackburn box in the 88th minute and put home a blistering shot, beating Rovers’ goalkeeper Paul Robinson. The goal sealed a 2-1 win for Bolton in a pivotal derby match despite being a man down after Mark Davies was sent off in the 56th minute, and sealed Holden’s fate in Wanderers fans’ hearts.

Holden took some time out of his busy schedule with Bolton’s winter schedule to speak with The Soccer Guys.

Continue reading

Tagged , , , ,

Kyle Beckerman's Journey to the Top of Major League Soccer

Kyle Beckerman celebrates Real Salt Lake's MLS Cup Championship victory in 2009. Beckerman was traded by the Colorado Rapids to RSL in 2007. Courtesy Real Salt Lake

By Kevin Koczwara

The 2009 season was a dream come true for Kyle Beckerman and Real Salt Lake. The team snuck into the MLS Cup playoffs as the last team to qualify. RSL had to go through Supporter’s Shield winners, (awarded to the best team of the regular season) Columbus Crew, to start. The team did that and made it all the way to the MLS Cup final where Beckerman and company had to take on the heavily favored Los Angeles Galaxy with American soccer icon Landon Donovan and English import, and tabloid favorite, David Beckham.

Beckerman lead the charge against the Galaxy as the captain of Salt Lake. Real went onto surprise just about everyone, beating the titanic duo of Beckham and Donovan, claiming the team’s first piece of silverware in club history.

Since the historic win, Real Salt Lake hasn’t looked back. The team finished second to Los Angeles in the MLS regular season with 56 points (15-4-11) and a record for fewest goals allowed in a season with 20 goals allowed in 30 games – a staggering .66 goals against average – and became the first North American soccer team to win its group in the CONCACAF Champions League group stage.

“The biggest thing was it [the playoffs last year] helped us turn the corner for road games. That was our biggest problem in the past few years and is why we struggled to get into the playoffs [last season],” said Beckerman. “It was the road form, once we did that [started winning on the road] we turned a corner. We really grew up in the playoffs last year and we were able to get the results in the playoffs. We have transferred that into this season, and we haven’t stopped. Now, we defend better and we’re more mature as a team.”

Continue reading

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Donovan Saga Illustrates Issues in U.S. Soccer

MLS Commissioner Don Garber has made sure Landon Donovan has not been allowed to move to one of Europe's top leagues because of Donovan's importance to MLS and its success. Courtesy Jose Argueta - MLS Soccer

By Joe Meloni

Major League Soccer Commissioner Don Garber made it clear this week that Los Angeles Galaxy captain Landon Donovan will play for the MLS side this season. Given the current popularity of Donovan and the Beautiful Game in the United States, Garber’s refusal is the right decision for the league and the game.

When European clubs came calling about Donovan in the past, Garber’s outright refusal to let the league’s talisman walk, bordered on selfish. His latest decision, while still selfish, just isn’t as important as the first few. Donovan’s performance in the World Cup was inspired, and, paired with successful loan spell with Premiership side Everton this year, silenced most of his primary critics around the world. Still, at 28, Donovan is quickly approaching his final few years of relevance. And by the time the next World Cup rolls around, he’ll likely be a shadow of his current self.

Continue reading

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Mr. Blatter, Something Needs to Change

FIFA President Sepp Blatter announcing the 2014 World Cup host winner Brazil. Courtesy Ricardo Stuckert

By Joe Meloni

Being a soccer fan in the United States means learning to deal with a few things. We understand a portion of our friends, co-workers and anyone else likely to stumble upon our Facebook pages thinks soccer is boring, un-American game. It is, after all, predicated upon not screwing up more than it’s about trying to strike as frequently as possible.

Unfortunately, the World Cup provided more ammunition for my narrow-minded cohorts as overworked officials continually failed to make proper calls or keep matches — even Sunday’s final — in line. Naturally, the blame falls on their shoulders rather than the FIFA officials consistently placing too heavy a burden upon them.

Continue reading

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , ,

The Pub Life

Courtesy Ali Brohi Flickr

By Ryan Fleming

There was a time when people gathered in pubs, bars, locales – whatever you want to call them – to watch sports you couldn’t normally view in the U.S. under standard cable packages. Sadly, that day is dangerously close to its end.

In the brief time that I have ventured to a pub to watch my favorite team play overseas (nowhere within an hour plays my team), I’ve heard countless stories of how the morning and even evening pub crowds have dwindled to almost nothing. Nowadays you can wake up, flip open your computer, go to a streaming site and if you’re lucky, watch your team play on a mediocre resolution that probably skips and is in a different language.

Continue reading

Tagged ,

Time to Put The Gloves Away

By Ryan Fleming

Now, I’ve read books like “Among the Thugs” and seen movies such as “Green Street Hooligans” and both confused me more than guided me in answering the question: what is soccer hooliganism?

I thought I was a fan – an avid supporter of my team, watched every game or at least made it paramount within my things-to-do. I wore hats, shirts, jerseys – you name it, I wore it. I assumed that is what “fans” did.

Apparently I was grossly mistaken.

Continue reading

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , ,