CHICAGO – Stuart Holden limped around Soldier Field with a black brace on his knee as the US national team did a victory lap after Sunday's Gold Cup final, which could be his last game for an extended period of time.
He led the team to the podium, hoisting himself up the stairs because his right knee, which has been injured off and on over the last two years, couldn't bend.
The US celebrated after accomplishing their goal in a 1-0 victory, but Holden's injury in the 19th minute, when he came down awkwardly after colliding with Panamanian midfielder Alberto Quintero, put a damper on the festivities.
“We are very concerned about his situation,” USMNT head coach Jurgen Klinsmann said in the postgame press conference. “It looks like a very serious knee injury.”
Holden completed an inspiring return from injuries when he returned to the national team in May after sitting out for the better part of two years. But Sunday's injury could be the latest blow to a player who once figured to be a prominent piece of the national team's future.
“He's a good friend and he's the soul of this team, he has been this trip,” Landon Donovan added. “We're bummed out for him.”
Holden, who didn't talk to reporters after the game, appeared in good spirits as he celebrated with his teammates, and he even posted a few Instagram photos of himself celebrating with the Gold Cup trophy in the locker room.
The team is hoping for the best when the 27-year-old undergoes an MRI in the next few days. But early returns aren't promising.
“We'll wait until hopefully tomorrow, they'll look at it, we'll get an MRI, we'll get all the tests done," Klinsmann said, "but he is a player that when something happens, he knows. And something happened. Hopefully it's not as bad.”