Holden stays in the U.S. picture 

February, 28, 2012

As he demonstrates in Leander Schaerlaeckens' feature on ESPN.com, Stuart Holden never counts himself out.

The oft-injured Holden applies that thinking to the U.S. national team, too. The 26-year-old has never had the chance to fully exhibit what he can do for the Yanks, getting hurt three times just as he seemed ready to take a central role on the squad.

But he's doing everything he can to stay in the national team picture, and U.S. coach Jurgen Klinsmann has done nothing to discourage that.

"Jurgen's been great," Holden told Insider this week. "He's really made me feel a part of it even though I haven't really been a part of things for more than a year now."

Before visiting Los Angeles in early January, Holden gave Klinsmann a heads-up; Holden was in L.A. for a knee-surgery checkup with the surgeon who performed the operation in September. Klinsmann responded with an extended invitation to get to know the new coaching regime.

"He said, 'I'd love to have you in the January camp and get familiar with how we operate and our staff and just to meet everyone," Holden says.

Luke Cyphers is a former senior writer for ESPN The Magazine.
Doug McIntyre is a staff writer for ESPN The Magazine. He has covered American and international soccer since 2002.