Moments from 2012: Heath Pearce's Header

We’re revisiting some of the top moments from the Red Bulls’ 2012 season. In this installment, we’ll look back at Heath Pearce’s clutch play against the Vancouver Whitecaps that helped New York earn a point on the road.

In just his fourth game as a Red Bull, defender Heath Pearce came up big in heroic fashion with a game-tying goal in the 86th minute of the June 20th clash against the Vancouver Whitecaps.

Watch: Pearce Ties It

Pearce, who joined the Red Bulls after a trade that sent forward Juan Agudelo, future considerations, and allocation money to Chivas USA, picked up his first-career MLS tally when he ran into the box unmarked and headed home a Joel Lindpere cross. The late, crucial goal allowed the Red Bulls to draw level and salvage one point on the road at BC Place.

The highlight-reel finish was a long time coming for Pearce, who up to that point had played in 77 games without finding the back of the net.

With the clock winding down and the Red Bulls pressuring hard to crack the shutout, Pearce sought his way through traffic to create a chance, placed the header on frame, and cashed in for the big finish.  Pearce would do it one more time before season’s end, when he scored on yet another header against Portland on Aug. 19 to power the Red Bulls past the Timbers in a 3-2, comeback victory.

Pearce featured in 18 games for the Red Bulls in 2012, all of which were starts. His two goals, coupled with solid defending and a calming demeanor on New York’s back line, opens the door for more top moments in 2013.

On Nov. 15, Pearce was named a finalist for the Xbox Individual Fair Play Award, a nomination made by Major League Soccer on criteria including fouls committed, cards received, games and minutes played as well as subjective evaluation of sportsmanlike behavior.