Heath Pearce’s eight-month wait could be drawing to a close.
On a 10-day trial with the Montreal Impact since Wednesday morning, Pearce may finally return to the field next week, Impact assistant coach Mauro Biello told MLSsoccer.com on Thursday.
The 29-year-old former US international last played on June 23, 2013, in the New York Red Bulls’ 3-0 loss at the Philadelphia Union. Shortly thereafter he underwent season-ending surgery for a hip injury he carried for several months.
New York then cut ties with him at the end of the season.
“He looks fine, 100 percent,” Biello said by phone from Orlando, Fla. “He trained normally. We’ll see how he responds in the coming days. I think he’s recovered, and he wouldn’t be here if he were injured. When you’re on trial, you’re at 100 percent, you want to show that you’ve healed. He was fine at training today. We hope that he’ll find some form with a few training sessions, and we’ll see how he does in a game situation.”
It is thus likely that Pearce will be tested in Montreal’s last two games of the Walt Disney World Pro Soccer Classic, next Wednesday against Sporting Kansas City and Saturday against an opponent to be determined. Montreal opened their preseason tournament title defense with a sturdy defensive display on Wednesday night in a 1-0 win over Fluminense’s U-23 team. Eric Miller and Maxim Tissot, both 21 years old, split duties at Pearce’s natural left-back position.
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“[The staff] discussed and decided to see how he was, and if he shows us certain things, it could help us in terms of experience and stability at the back,” Biello said.
The Montreal Impact would be Pearce’s fourth club in MLS, after his stints with FC Dallas, Chivas USA and the Red Bulls.