Hot List: Stuart Holden continues rise 

January, 29, 2013

The Hot List is more of a Cold List this week, at least when it comes to U.S. players in the Bundesliga. Only one of the five national team starters in Germany's top flight took the field with his club team last weekend, a situation that's far from ideal for the Yanks as they close in on next week's trip to Honduras for the first game of final round of CONCACAF World Cup qualifying.

Two of those players sat out because of injury; another was suspended, another benched. In England, Stoke's Geoff Cameron is also on the shelf as he recovers from a hamstring injury that sidelined him for the Potters' 1-0 FA Cup loss to Manchester City on Saturday.

The news isn't all doom and gloom, though.

Jozy Altidore continues to tear up the Dutch league with AZ Alkmaar, where he's about to be joined by another American striker (see below). The 23-year-old Altidore tied a career high with his 19th goal in all competitions last week. And fan favorite Stuart Holden finally (finally!) returned to first-team action with Bolton almost two years after suffering a horrific knee injury.

Here's how these developments -- both good and bad -- impact the national team.

Warming up

Stuart Holden, F, Bolton Wanderers (England)

Why he's here: In 10 minutes of action in an FA Cup match against Premier League Everton, Holden was "influential," according to English television commentators. Holden even came close to picking up a late assist off a corner kick moments before the Toffees scored a stoppage time winner.

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