Head-to-head: Juan Pablo Angel vs. Heath Pearce
Chivas USA head off to the East Coast to face off with the Eastern Conference leader New York Red Bulls in search of the second consecutive win at Red Bull Arena this Wednesday at 4 p.m. PT. With the absence of former Red Bull Juan Agudelo due to international duty, Colombian forward Juan Pablo Angel could potentially step up to team up with compatriot Jose Correa in the attack. Meanwhile, the Red Bull’s Head Coach Hans Backe counts with recently acquired, former Chivas USA defender Heath Pearce in the back line.
Starting off his career in Major League Soccer in 2007 with New York Red Bulls, Angel has made history with the club. In 102 games played (100 starts) with the Red Bulls from 2007-2010, Angel became the top goal scorer in the history of the Eastern Conference team, notching 58 goals and adding 14 assists. The only current Red Bull player eligible to match Angel is 28 year-old Jamaican midfielder Dane Richards, who with 142 games played (127 starts), has scored 21 goals for the team. Since joining the Red-and-White in August 2011, Angel has made a strong impact in the team’s attack, playing 14 games (12 starts), and scoring eight goals. The Colombian forward missed five games earlier this season due to concussion symptoms, but upon his return, Angel scored his first goal of the season in a 2-1 loss against Chicago Fire.
Who could know the plans of Chivas USA better than anyone in Red Bulls? None other than Heath Pearce. In his year and a half with the club, Pearce made 40 appearances (39 starts), playing every minute of the ten games he participated with the Red-and-White. In his first match played with the Red Bulls, Pearce left a good impression with Coach Backe, helping the team to their fifth consecutive victory by defeating expansion team Montreal Impact 2-1 at Olympic Stadium.
Whether Angel will team up with recent regulars Miller Bolanos and Jose Correa will be up to Head Coach Robin Fraser. Meanwhile, Red Bulls will be looking to make history by obtaining their sixth consecutive victory, marking their longest winning streak in franchise history. Make sure to watch the match live on Univision Deportes starting at 4 p.m. PT or follow the match on Twitter: @cdchivasusa.