Heath Pearce adds experience and versatility to the Goats' backline
CARSON, Calif. (Tuesday, March 15, 2011) - Heath Pearce has only been with Chivas USA for about a month, but he’s already established himself as a key player in the Goats' defense. The versatile defender has featured mostly as a left-back so far, but is capable of playing any position across the backline. His versatility is definitely a major strength, but head coach Robin Fraser thinks Pearce’s experience may prove even more valuable.
“Heath’s been fantastic,” said Fraser after a recent training session. “He’s a great professional with tons of experience and lots of physical ability. He has a lot of understanding of the game. I think he adds a calm to the team that is going to be helpful.”
According to coach Fraser, a leader is someone who carries himself with confidence and keeps the team levelheaded through good and bad times. He thinks Pearce fits that billing, and the defender known as “HP3” agreed.
“I think automatically there’s an expectation from the coaching staff for me to be a leader out here,” said Pearce.
That expectation isn’t built on age (at 26, Heath isn’t exactly one of the ‘older guys’) but rather, on experience. Pearce has already appeared for the US National team 32 times, and played in the Danish Superliga and German Bundesliga.
Pearce says he is enjoying his time with the Goats so far, and is excited about being part of a team on the way up.
“We have a great staff here, and a lot of good guys,” he said. “We’re not completely there yet, but we’re getting there; we’ll be a good team. It’s been a long preseason, and we’ve learned a lot. Now it’s about applying that to the game, and that’ll start with getting a result against [Sporting Kansas City].”
Although Pearce is concentrating on Chivas USA, he knows that if he plays well, he’ll continue to be considered for the US National Team, and this summer’s Gold Cup.
“Hopefully my performances for Chivas warrant an opportunity to play in the Gold Cup. But right now my focus is on this team. We still have a lot of growing to do, and hopefully we’ll do it quick. I think we’ll be ready come Saturday, and that’s where my focus is. Hopefully like anybody [who plays well] I’ll be rewarded with a national team call-up.”