New York Acquires U.S. National Team Defender Heath Pearce

HARRISON, NJ (May 17, 2012) – The New York Red Bulls announced today that they have acquired U.S. National Team defender Heath Pearce, allocation money and future considerations from Chivas USA in exchange for forward Juan Agudelo. Pearce, 27, will join the Red Bulls this week and will be available for selection for New York’s match Saturday against the Montreal Impact at Olympic Stadium at 7:30 PM (TV: MSG; Radio: WLIB 1190 AM).

“Heath is a very talented and versatile defender who will bring immediate experience to our defense. We have been long-time fans of his game and think that he will be an important player in our squad. In addition, we obtained a significant amount of financial flexibility moving forward with this trade. It was a deal we could not turn down,” said New York Red Bulls General Manager and Sporting Director Erik Soler.

“To obtain someone of Heath’s pedigree and gain substantial financial considerations, we had to trade Juan – an exciting player with potential,” Soler added. “In our discussions with Juan, he voiced that he wanted to have more time playing first team soccer and even explore the option of moving to another team. We wanted to help him achieve this goal and further develop his career. It has been rewarding to watch Juan develop both as a player and a person within our Academy and First Team and we think that playing for Chivas USA will be a great new opportunity for his career. We wish him the best of luck in the future.”

Pearce was in the midst of his fourth season in Major League Soccer, playing every minute of Chivas USA’s 10 games this year. Last year, Pearce, who has played in every defensive position during his career, featured in 30 games, notching three assists. The Modesto, CA native was acquired by Chivas USA from FC Dallas on Feb. 15, 2011 in exchange for allocation money. With FC Dallas, Pearce was part of the side that made the final of the 2010 MLS Cup. In that season, Pearce featured in 28 games, notching six assists.

Pearce joined FC Dallas in Sept. 2009 after playing in Danish Superliga side Nordsjælland (2005-07) and German team Hansa Rostock (2007-09). With Nordsjælland, Pearce notched 75 appearances and scored two goals before moving to Hansa Rostock, playing in 31 games.

Pearce has earned 35 caps for the United States National Team, making his debut on Nov. 12, 2005 against Scotland. The 5-10, 175-pound defender helped the U.S. qualify for the 2010 FIFA World Cup and was named to the 30-man preliminary roster. Pearce was also a member of the 2009 FIFA Confederations Cup squad and started five games in the Americans’ run to the final of the 2009 CONCACAF Gold Cup.

He played college soccer at the University of Portland and also featured for the Bradenton Academics in the USL Premier Development League.

Agudelo, a graduate of the Red Bulls Academy, featured in 33 games since he became professional in 2010, starting 13, and scoring six goals and two assists. This year, Agudelo has played in four games. He has earned 15 caps for the U.S. National Team.

Heath Pearce

Position: Defender

Height: 5-11

Weight: 175 pounds

Day of Birth: Aug. 8, 1984 in Modesto, CA

Hometown: Modesto, CA

Previous Professional Club: CD Chivas USA (MLS)

How Acquired: Acquired on May 17, 2012 from Chivas USA in exchange for forward Juan Agudelo.