Age: 25 (Born November 6, 1994)
Club: Derby County
League: EFL Championship
Club #: 23
Born: Columbus, GA
US History: USMNT (Gold Cup friendlies)
Duane Holmes hasn’t had the most clear path to the USMNT. In fact earning his first cap at the age of 24 will have many consider him a late bloomer. Born in Columbus, Georgia, Holmes only lived stateside for three years before moving to England. But according to Holmes his international future was never in question.
“I’ve always said that I want to represent America,” Holmes told American Soccer Now.
Holmes is a player that has been through the gauntlet in his career at only the age of 25. A member of the Huddersfield Town youth academy he went on to make his senior debut in 2013 at age 18. But in three season Holmes only made 22 league appearances for Huddersfield. He was briefly loaned out twice during that period as well to Yeovil Town and Bury. Only making 11 appearance between the two teams. He revitalized his career with a move to League one, English third tier, side Scunthorpe United in 2016. In just two seasons Holmes appeared 94 times in all competitions for “The Iron”.
Derby County & USMNT
His performances were noticed by Derby County and then coach and English legend Frank Lampard who signed him in August of 2018. His career as a Ram began slowly, only appearing in 1 out of the first 15 league matches. After that he found his footing and appeared in 31 total matches, starting 21 of them. Following the 18/19 campaign Holmes end of the season form merited his first call up to the USMNT as part of the preliminary gold cup roster.
He appeared in both pre tournament friendlies as a substitute. Unfortunately for Holmes and fans that were eager to see more, he picked up an injury that saw him replaced in the final 23 man roster. This past season, which is technically still ongoing, he made himself one of the first names on the team sheet starting 27 of the 32 matches in which he was healthy. Derby supporters even named him the Player of the Season in a fan poll.
What He Can Add
Although he’s only appeared for the USMNT twice, Holmes possesses quite a few attributes that should keep him getting called up for years to come. These key attributes are most specifically dribbling and his vision (passing). He’s a midfielder that can play the 10 or the 8, both positions of need for the USMNT. Here are a few plays that show what I mean.
Holmes ability to dribble around defenders and ability to dribble out of pressure is essential in the way Gregg Berhalter wants the USMNT to play.
Holmes vision is high quality. He is able to pick up the ball at any area of the pitch and pick the right pass. His through balls are next level. He’s able to split the midfield and defensive lines with ease. He’s a good crosser as well. Holmes dribbling as well as his passing gives the ability to start an attack any time he receives the ball.
And it never hurts to have a midfielder that can finish.
More Duane Holmes to Enjoy!
Duane Holmes Highlights
Underdog Soccer Podcast & Rams Review
Underdog Soccer Podcast & Chasing a Cup partnered to interview Rams Review Podcast to talk about Duane Holmes and Derby County.
More Duane Holmes Analysis
Halfspaces.com also put together a great article with additional analysis on Holmes as well.