Remember last summer and the little thing called the World Cup? Well the year before the World Cup, the host country hosts a smaller tournament called the Confederations Cup. The top nations in each region, plus the host country, plus the reigning World Cup champion attend for what can be best described as a mini-World Cup primer. It’s kind of a big deal. If by big deal you think it’s important to get a sneak peak at the stadiums, crowds, weather, etc., of the location in which the following year you will hopefully try to win the World Cup.

Every two years, the United States Men’s National Team (USMNT) competes in the Gold Cup. The winner of the Gold Cup gets to go to the Confederations cup. (seeing as there’s a gold cup every two years, and a confed cup only every four years, the team that wins the Gold Cup prior to the Confederations Cup goes, the country that wins the cup in the off years gets nothing – except for a cup).

This summer, the USMNT will fight to win the Gold Cup after losing it in pretty horrific fashion to Mexico in 2009. Fans of the USMNT held their breath on Saturday when this was the scene at Old Trafford. After taking a brutal tackle from Manchester United’s Johnny Evans, Bolton midfielder and USMNT rising star, Stu Holden lay on the ground clutching his knee. The gash left from Evan’s cleats needed 26 stitches to close. Holden was unable to walk off the field and was carried off via stretcher. The injury details have not yet been released. But Holden will undergo surgery this week and will be out the rest of Bolton’s season and for the US games in the Gold Cup.

The tackle was bad. Cleats up, double footed. Evans was going for the ball but missed it entirely and instead Holden’s leg took the full impact of the charge. Evans received a straight red card for the tackle (For you non soccer peeps that means he was ejected from the game, his team could not replace him on the field, and will have to miss the next three league games).

Saturday evening, I took some “heat” (and heat is putting it lightly) on twitter for standing up for Man U fans (we’re not all evil, blood thirsty cheaters who believe our team can do no wrong). And hearing that Holden will miss the rest of a season for the third time in his EPL career (De Jong – the guy who kicked someone in the chest in the World Cup – broke Holden’s leg last year, and in 2005 Holden was beaten up outside of a bar when he played for Sunderland) and that he will miss the Gold Cup saddened me.

Therefore today, I not only hope to share some nice eye candy with the ladies (and fellas) who read pocketdoppler, but I would also like to honor Stu Holden and wish him well in his recovery.


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