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Former Bolton, Houston Dynamo midfielder Holden retires

Stuart Holden has announced his retirement from professional football.

The 30-year-old former Bolton Wanderers and Houston Dynamo midfielder has decided to call time on his 11-year career which saw him play in both England and the USA.

Holden started his career with Sunderland back in 2005 but after failing to register a senior appearance for the Black Cats, moved to Houston in 2006.

During his time with the Dynamo, Holden was instrumental in helping the Texan club win back-to-back MLS Cups in 2006 and 2007.

After four years and close to 120 appearances for Houston, Holden joined Bolton in January 2010 but his time back in the UK, which included a loan spell with Sheffield Wednesday, was cut short by a series of serious knee injuries which has prompted him to make the call.

Holden also represented the US national team on 25 occasions and featured in the 2010 World Cup and and 2008 Olympic Games.

In an open letter posted by US Soccer on Wednesday, Holden wrote: "To the fans, thank you.

"Your support has never gone unnoticed and you've had a bigger impact on my life than you'll ever know. All of the messages, tweets, songs, and passion for the beautiful game have left me humbled and forever grateful.

"It's time to stop fighting my body. I've known for a while, but I've struggled to admit it to myself and to others. The countless sleepless nights, the aches and pains, and the constant mental battles were all signs pointing to a new path.

"But every time I was about to utter the three big words 'I am retired,' all the memories of walking into roaring stadiums, scoring last-minute goals, and being part of amazing teams dragged me back."

Regarding his future, the ESPN and FOX Sports pundit added: "The most recent opportunities will keep me in the game as a broadcaster, a coach, and maybe even as an owner one day.

"Who knows? Not me.

"What I do know is that I am 100% at peace with my decision to retire from playing, and I am 200% excited for the future. True closure has been hard to come by, but man it feels good."

Andrew Slevison
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Andrew Slevison

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