CARSON, Calif. -- Stuart Holden, the former Bolton Wanderers, Houston Dynamo and U.S. national team midfielder, officially announced his retirement on Wednesday.
Holden, 30, was ravaged by injury during his 10-year career, especially during the past six years. Holden suffered a broken leg in a friendly against the Netherlands in early 2010, shortly after leaving Houston and signing with Bolton, but recovered in time to play in that summer's World Cup.
- Stuart Holden (@stuholden) February 3, 2016
He was one of the best midfielders in the English Premier League during the 2010-11 season, according to the Guardian. But the Scotland-born, Texas-raised Holden was never the same after injuring his knee in a match against Manchester United in March of 2011.
"It's time to stop fighting my body," Holden said. "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.
"The same never-say-die attitude that drove me to fight like hell my entire career wouldn't let me say the `R' word."
A series of setbacks forced Holden to miss all of 2011-12, and he played just four league games the following year -- two for Bolton, which had been relegated to the second-tier English Championship in his absence -- and two for fellow Championship club Sheffield Wednesday.
He returned to the national team in 2013 and played in that summer's CONCACAF Gold Cup, but tore a knee ligament in the final against Panama.
His last competitive match came in March of 2014, when he was injured again, this time in a reserve game for Bolton.
Holden, who became a father this week, had been considering a comeback as recently as last month when he trained with the U.S. team here as a non-roster invitee of U.S. coach Jurgen Klinsmann.
"Certain memories are always at the front of my mind," Holden said. "Representing the USA in the Olympics and a World Cup, two MLS Cup championships with the Houston Dynamo, the last minute goal against Haiti, and how could I ever forget the pure elation of scoring the stoppage time winner for Bolton against Blackburn?"
Information from the Associated Press was used in this report.