New York: United States midfielder Stuart Holden has quit professional football at the age of 30 after a series of long-term injuries which kept him out of the game.
The former Bolton Wanderers man, who also plied his trade for Houston Dynamo in Major League Soccer (MLS), had a club career which lasted for eight years. His injury troubles began in 2011 when he broke a femur while playing for Bolton.
After his comeback, where he played just one game he again had to sit out for six months because of a torn knee cartilage. Playing for his country, Holden tore his anterior cruciate ligament during the 2013 Gold Cup final against Panama.
Eight months later, when he was eyeing another comeback to the national squad for the 2014 FIFA World Cup , he re-injured the same knee during a reserve game for Bolton.
“It’s time to stop fighting my body,” Holden posted on the U.S. Soccer website on Wednesday.
“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,” he added.
Holden also wrote that he is excited about his future.
“What I do know is that I am 100 percent at peace with my decision to retire from playing, and I am 200 per cent excited for the future. True closure has been hard to come by, but man it feels good.”
Holden netted thrice in 25 international games for the United States and scored 24 goals for the three clubs he represented.