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Heath Pearce is just what New York needs

May 17, 2012, 1:28 PM EDT

New York Red Bulls v Chivas USA Getty Images

I’ll take the minority opinion here (although perhaps not that exclusive): New York’s trade of Heath Pearce for Juan Agudelo is a win for the New York Red Bulls. Maybe not long term, but the Red Bulls aren’t looking long term. They need to win. Now.

Yes, I know: They’ve won 4 in a row. But I mean “win” as in MLS Cup, not “win” as in this weekend in Montreal.

Let’s consider:

1) Agudelo is a good prospect and a highly skilled player, but he’s not there yet. Hans Backe has an attacking force that functions fine without the teenager. NYRB won’t have trouble scoring. Besides, if the forward has a good season, he’s on the move to Europe soon anyway. So why not get something for him while you can?

2) Pearce will thrive on the field in New York. He’s versatile, skilled, and smart. He fills roles. He’s a charismatic leader. He’s exactly what the Red Bulls need.

3) On the marketing front, NYRB loses a key young American, but Pearce is no slouch. That the move sent Twitter into overdrive before news that Agudelo was involved started to leak — Heath Pearce trending worldwide is not something I thought I would ever write — demonstrates this point. Pearce won’t own New York, but he brings a certain intrigue. John Godfrey nailed it: “He is SO Bedford Avenue,” alluding to Brooklyn’s hip street in Williamsburg. And then there’s Jason Davis’ take.

The real loser in the trade: Agudelo. He leaves a city he loves — a place near where he grew up — to join a Chivas squad that’s scored 6 goals in 10 games. But the trade could light a fire, spark a scoring streak, then open doors in Europe. Take it from Matt Kassel: “So happy for my boy @juanagudelo17 #freshstart#heisfree.” Agudelo once said he felt like Backe wanted to control him with an xBox360 controller.

So maybe, just maybe, everyone wins.

  1. arjanroghanchi - May 17, 2012 at 3:44 PM

    This is the best news I have heard in a long time. But I must disagree with your premise that the trade was made with a “win-now” motive. Consider:

    Juan Agudelo is almost every way the kind of player that I think a lot of managers would prefer NOT having on their roster. Yes, it is true that he is young and popular and American and has shown some technical ability on the pitch. But he has also demonstrated that he is petulant, lacks consistent work ethic, and believes that he has a better tactical understanding than people who have been in the game for decades (please see his twitter feed and remarks from teammates like Tim Ream to substantiate my claims).

    Watch the tape on Agudelo, he literally falls down All. The. Time.

    Juan is like Tim Ream: incredibly hyped, with little to support it. And now he has bought into the myth. Robin Fraser can’t be blamed for taking a flyer on him, but this is another savvy move from Soler, Backe et al.

    • s1ark5 - May 17, 2012 at 6:43 PM

      I could never understand the tim ream hate? The guy went from a second rd pick to the epl, to compare him to a young up and comer like agudelo is wrong. At first i was upset that juan was traded as a big time rbny fan but once i saw what theybgot for him, i am stoked!!!

      Plus this opens up our options even more for the summer signings im very happy about this trade.

      • arjanroghanchi - May 18, 2012 at 7:57 AM

        It isn’t Tim Ream hate. I am huge RBNY fan. I just never understood the hype surrounding either Ream or Agudelo.

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