U.S. Soccer: Michael Bradley To Chievo, Holden Returns To Bolton, Spector, Pontius Called Into Camp And More

After an unsuccessful loan spell at Aston Villa, Michael Bradley returned to the Bundesliga an unwanted man. Borussia Monchengladbach did not see Bradley playing out in their future plans. With a year left on his deal, he was left with a choice; find a new home or stagnate.

Well, it seems the former has occurred. SBI reports Chievo Verona of the Italian Serie A have acquired the midfielders services. Bradley’s agent, Ron Waxman, confirmed the move first via twitter, stating,”I am happy to report that Michael Bradley has signed with A.C. Chievo Verona of the Italian Serie A.”

The move follows Bradley’s much talked about exclusion from the U.S. roster for the coming Costa Rica and Belgium friendlies.

This is just the tip of the iceberg in a very busy week for American Soccer. Check out what else is going on, after the jump:

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ONE STEP CLOSER: STU HOLDEN RETURNS TO ACTION

Photograph: Jon Super/AP/Courtesy: The Guardian

This March, Stu Holden collapsed in excruciating pain after Manchester United defender Johnny Evans delivered an ugly tackle, catching the young American’s knee and sidelining him for the rest of the season. Healing would require the placement of pins to stabilize his knee, and recovery would take about six months.

Five months in, Holden looks set to make a return. The former Dynamo midfielder will feature for the Bolton reserves tonight, as they take on Fulham. If all goes accordingly, Holden may come back in fairytale fashion, facing the team that put him down in Manchester United on Saturday, September 10th.

For Bolton, his return is as good as a star transfer acquisition. Holden became a major part of Bolton’s offensive engine last season, a feat the Wanderer’s hope to repeat, especially in light of the teams recent results.

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CHRIS PONTIUS AND JONATHAN SPECTOR CALLED INTO U.S. CAMP

Injuries can create opportunities, and that may be the case here as Birmingham City defender Jonathan Spector and D.C. United forward Chris Pontius make their way to Los Angeles to join the U.S. National team, filling in for the injured duo of Heath Pearce and Zach Loyd.

Loyd has been suffering from a right hamstring sprain that kept him out of this weekend’s thrilling come from behind 3-2 Dallas victory over Sporting K.C. at LiveStrong Park. Meanwhile, standout Chivas USA defender Heath Pearce pulled up lame with a hamstring strain, forcing him out of this weekends 1-0 loss against Real Salt Lake.

This won’t be Spector’s first dance on the National stage, having already earned 31 caps throughout his career. West Ham has used the American back in the midfield on occasion to a modicum of success, but he has once again featured in the back for Birmingham.

Meanwhile, Pontius, 24, has been called into camp on three previous occasions, but has yet to earn a cap. Continuing to show his emphasis on the domestic game, Klinsmann’s inclusion of Pontius is yet another indication that his eye is heavily upon MLS. Pontius has scored seven goals and collected two assists in 24 appearances for D.C., trailing only Charlie Davies (8) in the goal department. If Klinsmann stays true to his youth project, Pontius may even earn his first national cap.

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CLINT DEMPSEY FRIENDLY STATUS

Fulham midfielder Clint Dempsey will miss this weekends Costa Rica match while he receives treatment for back spasms in London. However, he will be joining the team this Sunday in Brussels in preparation for the second U.S. friendly against Belgium on Sept. 6 at King Badouin Stadium.

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FABIAN JOHNSON, OUT

Photo by Christof Koepsel/Bongarts/Getty Images

U.S. Soccer announced Fabian Johnson would be unavailable to play for the U.S. National Team for either the Costa Rica or Belgium friendlies. One of Klinsmann’s more intriguing selections, Johnson will still be at the U.S. training camps at the behest of coach.

“I called in Fabian Johnson because I want him to experience what the U.S. National Team is about,” Klinsmann said through a U.S. Soccer press release. “He played for the U-21s in Germany and was highly successful, and now he broke into the Hoffenheim team. He’s still a kid who is totally developing. I said to him: ‘I want you to come in here, not because my main objective is Costa Rica or Belgium, but I want you to come in here and be a part of this group. I want you to see how it is being part of the U.S. team, experience the spirit here and see how people interact with each other.’ It’s different from playing with Germany, and I know both sides. We’ll take it from there.”

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