UPPER MONTCLAIR, N.J. – Six days ago, Heath Pearce was getting ready for another practice session with Chivas USA. Now, he’s on the brink of playing against them.
Fresh off of making his New York Red Bulls debut in a 2-1 win over the Montreal Impact this past weekend, Pearce (above, center) now will face his former teammates less than a week after being traded for forward Juan Agudelo.
And the veteran defender expects his former club to be full of confidence after picking up a big win over archrivals LA Galaxy this past Saturday. That result, he says, will have the Goats firing on all cylinders when they step into Red Bull Arena for on Wednesday for Pearce's home debut for his new club (7 pm ET, Univision Deportes).
“They’re going to come out flying,” Pearce told reporters on Monday. “Confidence is everything, especially in this league, and it’s all about trying to create these winning streaks. I think they’ll come out strong, and they’ve added a few additions, which sometimes sparks a new energy in the team.”
For the Red Bulls, a victory would give them six straight wins. That would be the longest consecutive winning streak in franchise history, and another impressive accomplishment for a team that has been missing several starters in recent weeks.
Pearce is focused on helping New York achieve that feat and only that feat on Wednesday, and he insists he is not interested in revenge against his former club.
“It’ll be great to see some of those guys, because I’ve got some dear friends on that team,” said Pearce. “But for the most part, it’s just another game and we need to get three points and do it in an entertaining fashion.”
The Red Bulls are coming off an ugly performance in Montreal, but one they happily took home. Pearce made his RBNY debut in the match that saw the team go down a goal and down a man. Head coach Hans Backe was impressed with his newest player’s outing.
“As expected, very solid,” said Backe. “[He was] composed, and tactically, very, very good.”
Aside from an ill-advised pass resulting in a turnover against the Impact, Pearce was happy with his debut and says his new teammates have made him comfortable on the pitch.
“I thought the group gave me the ability to play with them,” he said. “They all made it really easy on me to understand them, and there’s a lot of guys that want the ball all the time so it made the game pretty easy.”