By Jacob Klinger
Homogenous, incestuous, and the “Good ol’ Boy Network”: American soccer has been called all these, and then some, not all fit for print. Yet recent events on Planet Soccer have been interwoven in a considerably less discouraging manner.
You should be warned though; this is more than a little weird.
Consider Stuart Holden’s long-awaited return from injury on Tuesday in the Carling Cup. Holden last appeared for the national team on October 12, 2010 in a scoreless draw against Colombia. The match was played at PPL Park in Philadelphia where Holden was informally given the keys to the US midfield.
Holden proved to be more than the center of the US’s impotent attack that day. In fact, American soccer, if not the world, appears to revolve around his very being.
Debuting at that very same stadium Saturday night was 16 year-old Zach Pfeffer. The homegrown talent is the fourth youngest player to sign an MLS contract. The youngest of course, is Peter Nowak’s present and former protégé Freddy Adu. Pfeffer has “don’t do this example” and advice of the now 22 year-old Adu as a teammate.
Adu shared the field – again under Nowak – at the 2008 Summer Olympics with Brian McBride. Beijing ‘08 witnessed McBride’s last appearance in a US jersey as his international career ended unceremoniously in the Orozco Elbow Game against Nigeria.
Rewind to the beginning of McBride. The legendary striker was born June 19, 1972. A day later and sixteen years earlier Peter Reid was born. If the name sounds familiar to you, fear not, your mind is not playing tricks. Reid famously peddled his 1986 FA Cup runner’s-up medal to keep Plymouth Argyle afloat before being fired this week. Said medal was earned when Reid’s Everton lost the famous Merseyside Final. In his two-year term at Plymouth Argyle, Reid coached American former Toffee Anton Peterlin.
Peterlin had joined Everton at the same time as American striker Cody Arnoux before they both sought employment under Reid at Argyle.
On October 10, 2006, on his way to becoming a two-time All-American, Arnoux’s Wake Forest Demon Deacons defeated Euan Holden’s – now of Stockport County - UCONN Huskies 1-0 in double overtime.
When Young Euan came into this world in Aberdeen, Scotland on February 2, 1988, he did so as none other than Stuart Holden’s little brother.
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