Chivas USA vs. Portland Timbers Preview

Defender Heath Pearce, played at the University of Portland

Heath Pearce Colorado

Photo Credit: 
Juan Miranda (Chivas USA)

PORTLAND, Ore. (Tuesday, March 29, 2011) - As Chivas USA prepares for tonight’s match against the Portland Timbers, one player on the roster already knows the location of the game quite well. Defender Heath Pearce, acquired in preseason from FC Dallas, played at the University of Portland from 2003-2005, and knows the city, new to Major League Soccer, quite well.

Tuesday night’s game is at the University of Portland’s Merlo Field, where Pearce played all his home college matches in his time in the City of Roses. The trip has already featured something that reminds the defender of his college days.

“Well obviously it’s raining,” said Pearce on Tuesday afternoon. “I remember that about my time here; it rained a lot.”

Asked about his return to the University of Portland and Merlo Field, Pearce had better memories.

“It’s exciting times. It’s the first time I’ve been back since I left school so it’s a cool thing to come play in that stadium. It’s a special stadium, there’s a lot of history there with the coaches and some tradition there with players as well, so it’s an exciting time for me.”

Despite the thrill of returning to his old stomping grounds, and the chance to catch up with a few old friends, Pearce sees the trip to Portland as all business.

“I still have some friends up here,” he said. “Since it’s a short trip for us it’s mostly been focusing on the game and not really paying too much attention to getting in contact with people who are coming out. Obviously we come here for the MLS season as well sometime this year, but for now I haven’t had a chance to talk to a lot of people.”

Pearce, who has been playing on the right side of defense and figures to line up there again on Tuesday, is optimistic about the team’s chances, and eager to get the club back on the right track.

“We showed a lot of bright points so far this year but I think we’ve lacked in execution, the final pass, being more creative, things like that, as well as defensively, cutting out those little errors. Hopefully we can take today to have another chance to do that, and get a result.”

Tuesday’s match kicks off at 7:00 p.m. PT and will be streaming live on