He was their teammate a week before, but on Wednesday night, the members of Chivas USA lined up against Heath Pearce as he started for the New York Red Bulls.
Playing in central defense, Pearce (center, against Montreal) was solid in his second start for New York since being sent from the Rojiblancos for a package that included forward Juan Agudelo. Prior to the match, the Rojiblancos had some time to catch up with Pearce, who is currently staying in the same hotel that the club visited during their time in New Jersey.
Although the reunion was put on hold once the game started, Pearce’s former teammates at Chivas couldn’t help but notice the center back during Wednesday’s match.
“I was thinking about him at the end of the game as he started hitting his 70-yard left-footed long balls that switch the field because I’ve seen that, obviously often late in the game when we were chasing a little bit,” goalkeeper Dan Kennedy told MLSsoccer.com. “But it was good, I’m glad that he’s settling out here. He seems to like it out here so hopefully it’s going to be really good for him and his career.”
LaBrocca's hamstring being evaluated
Among all the positives of the draw at Red Bull Arena, the Rojiblancos endured one potentially difficult moment when Nick LaBrocca was forced out early due to a hamstring injury.
Playing in front of his home crowd, the New Jersey native was active from the start, including testing goalkeeper Ryan Meara in the second minute of play. But in the fifth minute, while chasing down Dane Richards in the Rojiblancos' box, LaBrocca tweaked his left hamstring and was forced to be replaced by Miller Bolaños. With Chivas set to take on the Seattle Sounders, the club will spend the next several days evaluating the midfielder.
“It’s difficult to assess the severity of it right now,” head coach Robin Fraser said after the Red Bulls match. “Certainly, hamstring injuries are always a little bit tricky so we’ll be monitoring that closely in the next couple of days.”
Minda to miss Sounders match
One player who will not be available for Saturday’s game against the Sounders (10:30 pm ET, watch LIVE online) is Oswaldo Minda, who departed the club to join the Ecuadorian national team ahead of the nation’s World Cup qualifiers against Argentina and Colombia in June.
The 28-year-old has 15 appearances for Ecuador and will likely feature for the team when they face off against Argentina on June 2 in Buenos Aires and Colombia on June 10 in Quito. Since joining the Rojiblancos in the offseason from Ecuador’s Sociedad Deportivo Quito, Minda has made 11 appearances for Chivas and has scored once.
“I know that being on the World Cup team and qualifying for the World Cup is a big goal of his and this is extremely important to him,” Fraser said after another fine Minda performance against New York. “I think that the fact that he’s being called in is attributed to his hard work and good play.”
Adam Serrano covers Chivas USA for MLSsoccer.com. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org