“11 Questions” on The Scoring Third is a worldwide sensation, much like Ace of Base was back in the early 1990’s. Some would consider this interview series as a launching platform for future soccer success. Case No. 1: Andy Najar is one of the first MLS stars to take a shot at “11 Questions”; he goes on to be named MLS Rookie of the Year. Case No. 2: Robbie Findley takes a run at our little interview and leads his team into the MLS playoffs and will be moving to Europe next season. Case No. 3: Brian Ching tells us that Asian guy from “The Hangover” would be casted in the leading role for a bio-movie about his life; we are left rolling on the floor. With all of our successes, and the successes of the players who have faced “11 Questions”, one thing keeps being said from our readers. They say, “Practice Cone, why can’t you give us an interview with a big name EPL star?” You want it, you got it! In this installment of “11 Questions” we bring you none other than a member of the 2010 USMNT World Cup squad and starting midfielder for the Bolton Wanderers, Stuart Holden (queue the fireworks).
Stuart was born in Aberdeen, Scotland but moved to the Houston area at the age of 10 with his family, his father working in the oil industry. He attended college at Clemson University for two years before opting to leave school for a chance to play in the EPL with Sunderland in 2005. Shortly after arriving in England he sustained an off-the-field injury which prevented him from playing that season and ultimately drove him to return to Houston and sign with the Dynamo of MLS in 2006. Stuart shined with Houston appearing in 103 matches through the 2009 season, scoring 15 goals, winning the MLS Cup in 2006 & 2007, and being named to the MLS Best XI in 2009. After a successful 4 season with Houston, Stuart trained in England during the MLS post-season and eventually joined the Bolton Wanderers in January 2010. He went on to play out the season with a number of appearances and excellent command of the midfield. Shortly after the start of the 2010 season, Stuart was rewarded for his performance by receiving a 3 year contract with BWFC through the 2013 season. In addition to his club appearances, Stuart has become a fixture in the midfield for the USMNT with 17 appearances since 2009 including being part of the 23-man 2010 World Cup roster and being named to the CONCACAF Gold Cup Best XI in 2009. In his personal life Stuart lost his father to cancer in 2009 and wears a “Livestrong” bracelet that belonged to his father during every match. Maybe we are alone on this opinion, but seeing Stuart Holden and Michael Bradley working the midfield for the USMNT going into 2014 gives us real hope for the future of US Soccer.
At only 25 years old Stuart Holden has made a name for himself in MLS, EPL, and with the USMNT; let’s see if he can keep his success alive with a little set piece we like to call “11 Questions”.
1. South Africa had the Jabulani, Mexico had the Azteca, but what would you name the official World Cup ball next time it is played in the US?
2. What sport would you be playing if you didn't play soccer?
3. I don't always drink beer, but when I do I prefer ______? (favorite beer).
4. I'll give you the shirt off my back. Which opponent's jersey have you received following a match that you cherish the most?
5. Justin Bieber might be coming to town, but who do you really want to see in concert?
6. Put me in coach. If you were coaching yourself as a player, what area would you tell yourself to focus on for improvement?
Heading the ball
7. Game day, 1 hour before kick-off, what's on in your headphones for motivation?
Dance Music (might make for an interesting locker room scene)
8. Team spirit. Who's your favorite sports team to cheer for outside of soccer?
9. Chance of a lifetime. Would you give up your soccer career if you had a chance to fly into space?
10. Have it your way. When you're in the US, what fast food chain are you visiting?
11. Coming to a theater near you. Who would play the part of you in a movie about your life?
Best wishes to Stuart and the rest of the Bolton Wanderers as they continue their push to the top of the EPL standings. A special thanks to Jennie Kozlowski at BWFC Media Relations for assisting with the interview.