Friday, January 1, 2010

Stuart Holden on GMA = Lost Opportunity

I can admit when I have been overly optimistic and wrong, and I was both of those things in last night's column about Stuart Holden. Stuart Holden was indeed on ABC's Good Morning America this morning, unfortunately, his appearance had nothing to do about his future in MLS. Instead, Holden appeared in one of those little bumpers between commercials and news to quickly discuss the upcoming World Cup finals in South Africa and to support GMA's coat drive.

Not long after posting my column last night, news that Holden was going to go on trial with Burnley of the EPL started trickling out. I continued to suspect that such a trial would be part of the package of him re-upping with MLS. But, as we learned this morning that is not the case.

MLS and Holden both missed a great opportunity in branding and marketing MLS in a World Cup year, but, with the issues concerning the collective bargaining agreement still unresolved, I can't blame Holden, who is now very secure in a USMNT senior team spot, for testing the waters in Europe. While Holden's appearance helped promote ABC's impending World Cup broadcasts and the USMNT in general, it did nothing for MLS or professional soccer in the United States.

Unfortunately for the Houston Dynamo, they are left in limbo as they prepare for the 2010 MLS season. Holden did a good job of stepping up and filling the void that was created when Dwayne De Rosario was traded to Toronto before the 2009 season, unfortunately, the Dynamo do not currently have a player that could clearly step up into the void created if Holden leaves. The Dynamo don't have much time to wait on Holden, they can't let themselves get trapped in the situation the Houston Astros found themselves in several years ago when the focused on re-signing Carlos Beltran. No, with a new year upon us, the Dynamo have to focus on their midfield, finding replacements for both Stuart Holden and Ricardo Clark.

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