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Video: Stuart Holden's goal for Bolton at Wolves

By Steve Goff

American midfielder Stuart Holden scores his first Premier League goal for Bolton to provide a three-goal lead against compatriot Marcus Hahnemann during a 3-2 victory at Wolves. Bolton's second goal, scored by Swedish forward Johan Elmander and assisted by Holden, is simply absurd. You've got to watch 'em:

By Steve Goff  | November 13, 2010; 1:54 PM ET
Categories:  Americans Abroad, England, Sweden, U.S. men's national team  | Tags:  Stuart Holden  
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Next: American soccer players abroad: Stuart Holden, Michael Bradley, Benny Feilhaber score

Comments

Good to see Holden score. I thought he played really well in last weekend's match v. Tottenham. This has got to be good for the national team.

Posted by: soccermutha | November 13, 2010 2:11 PM | Report abuse

Way to go Holden. And yes, Elmander's goal was ridonkulous.

Posted by: I-270Exit1 | November 13, 2010 2:41 PM | Report abuse

Great for Holden. He is playing really well this year, establishing himself as a regular in a decent PL outfit!
I would have never thought that Elmander has these mad skills!
His footwork to score the goal is sick!

Posted by: charlie015 | November 13, 2010 4:48 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: mattygp | November 13, 2010 6:27 PM | Report abuse

Nice to see some people in the seats at DSGP. Colorado did a good job marketing this conference final, especially in the face of how cold it looks there. My pessimism about their turnout for this match was unfounded.

Too bad the game so far has been unwatchable garbage. If I wanted to watch bootball I would watch a highschool or college game.

Posted by: Ron16 | November 13, 2010 10:02 PM | Report abuse

Nice turnout in Commerce City. I still can't believe DC won there this season.

Posted by: Pedalada | November 13, 2010 11:46 PM | Report abuse

Watching SNL... Who needs Debbie Downer when you've got a Ron16?

Posted by: DadRyan | November 14, 2010 12:32 AM | Report abuse

Was at the match at the Dick's.

Despite Ron's description, it was a back and forth game, with plenty of chances for both sides.

The crowd in Colorado is . . . learning. They know soccer, but the fan participation is lacking. The loudest they got was when the telescreen prompted "PLAYOFF NOISE!!!"

It doesn't help that the supporters clubs are relegated to a standing room only section behind the goal . . .

All in all, maybe they can gather some momentum here.

Posted by: delantero | November 14, 2010 1:04 AM | Report abuse

I'll admit I only watched the first half. 45 minutes of torture was enough. Maybe the second half was a more flowing, creative exhibition of the supposedly vastly superior soccer MLS allegedly has now. But the first half, with rare exceptions, was a disjointed bootball fest. Yeah it was back and forth, but back and forth, stop-motion pinball/kickball does not equal soccer. Yikes, this was a nationally televised *Conference Final*!

People keep saying that the level of the game is so much better now in MLS than 10+ years ago. I'll agree that the players on the low end of the payscale are better, and the pace of the game is a bit faster, but is the soccer is more attractive?

Compare last nights exhibition of mostly stop-motion, high-school-esque duffing to, say, the 1999 conference final between DC United and Columbus. Much better soccer in the latter, even if you are not a DCU partisan.

Look, no one expects MLS to be the Premier League. And I think MLS's major faults are correctable even given current constraints. I think things can improve if:

1) The officiating improves. There are too many uncalled fouls that chop up the game.

2) Purge the infection of gridball-mentality. The mentality in MLS is, unless you have received the ball and have acres of room, you stop, pretend you are Eli Manning in the pocket, and look, look, look for a "receiver downfield". When no wide-open receiver appears, boot it anyway, only to see it gobbled up by the opponent or sail out of bounds. The result is the likes of the wretched kickball we were subjected to so much of the time last night.

To cure that, the coaches in this league need to teach their players that this is soccer, not pointy ball, and you need to MOVE on the ball as well as off the ball. If you don't have space, create some space. Teaching these players not to be so lazy with the ball would be a big improvement in the quality of MLS games, one which does not require expensive players to implement.

3) Instead of growing "playoff beards" (or is it just "Look Like the Amish Month?) how about grow playoff Valderrama-style afros?

OK, I'm kidding with #3.

Posted by: Ron16 | November 14, 2010 8:34 AM | Report abuse

I won't argue too much with you Ron about the style of play last night, even though I usually do.

San Jose doesn't really do punt and run, but Colorado sure does. Granted, they get some leeway about it because of who they have up top, but it is their preferred method of getting it to them.


Also, Alturo Alvarez was just baaaaaad last night. Kosuke Komura, on the other hand, was excellent

Posted by: JacobfromAtlanta-ish | November 14, 2010 8:49 AM | Report abuse

You guys must have missed the game entirely as most of the balls played through were from the mids to Cummings/Casey. Just look at the highlights on the MLS site.

I would describe "bootball" as passes originating from the d to the fwds . . . or more than 30 yards . . and inaccurate passes, at that. There were some, but check out Serie A, you'll see plenty more.

Posted by: delantero | November 14, 2010 9:34 AM | Report abuse

Geez, I watched last night and thought it was an exciting back and forth contest with some really fast, skilful players. I kept wondering "when will DC United be able to play that well?" And then I read Ron 16's comments and learned that I obviously misread the match and have no understanding of "the beautiful game." Now I'm so confused....

Posted by: b18bolo | November 14, 2010 11:01 AM | Report abuse

Always LMFAO when I read posts critiquing games one has only watched a half of. Loses me every time.

Posted by: DadRyan | November 14, 2010 11:01 AM | Report abuse

The game wasn't very good but they got a good crowd to come out on a cold night and hopefully they went home happy.

While the ball movement and precision of passing were not the greatest, last night's game featured more scoring opportunities than the big money EPL Manchester Derby that was on ESPN midweek.

The goal last night was credited to Kimura but without Cummings' near post run and whiff it would have been just a harmless cross for the keeper to deal with.

Posted by: Joel_M_Lane | November 14, 2010 11:21 AM | Report abuse

I guess the fluid play, exquisite buildups, dazzling creativity, and, of course, magnificent goals were all in the second half of this can't-miss 1-0 (Cummings 42') affair.

Interesting, though, that some here who watched the whole thing agree "the game wasn't very good". It just wasn't.

If you are happy with the pedestrian soccer that is all too often MLS right now, fine, more power to you. Enjoy. But I don't think I'm alone in thinking that with some adjustments (that are not expensive adjustments) MLS can be a lot better.

It needs to get better to grow its audience.

Posted by: Ron16 | November 14, 2010 12:01 PM | Report abuse

Good Lord. "fluid play, exquisite buildups, dazzling creativity, and pedestrian soccer" What are you - trying to get the Post to hire you as a food critic? It's not the friggin' ballet, where crtical analysis of the fluidity of the dancers and the creativity of the choreographers is to be expected.

From Albanian Cup matches, to Azerbaijani Second Division matches, to Asian Olympic qualifiers, some of the most entertaining soccer macthes I've attended have been of "questionable quality," and far below MLS.

You want people to lap up your "more cultured tastes" go to an art exhibit. This is ******* football, and I'd say you are the one who doesn't get it.

Sometimes I wish soccer were a working class sport here like it is most places.

Posted by: Wendell_Gee | November 14, 2010 12:38 PM | Report abuse

The Sporting Gijon-Real Madrid game has ads for "Support Qatar's bud for 2022."

I'm not saying, I'm... Just saying...

Posted by: JacobfromAtlanta-ish | November 14, 2010 1:12 PM | Report abuse

"Support Qatar's bud for 2022."

Budweiser will most definitely not sponsor WC22 in Qatar. Marinol might.

Posted by: I-270Exit1 | November 14, 2010 2:42 PM | Report abuse

Ron, Discovery of the Year "MLS does not equal the EPL or La Liga."

Imagine that! It's quite the revelation you've stumbled upon there.

Exactly Zero posters have said it was worthy of being called a great game, neither was it the borefest you claim.

Posted by: delantero | November 14, 2010 3:03 PM | Report abuse

bid*

That's what I get for using my phone with my laptop just in the other room.

Posted by: JacobfromAtlanta-ish | November 14, 2010 6:13 PM | Report abuse

Wendell_Gee: Sorry. I'll try to dumb it down for ya next time.

Posted by: Ron16 | November 14, 2010 6:52 PM | Report abuse

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