Feb 8, 2013, 11:15 AM EDT
After a while, I quit beating the drum for Heath Pearce as a left back.
He was just fine as a center back, but I always wondered why such a good, technical defender with a swell left foot would be “wasted” in the middle.
Again, nothing wrong with Pearce stationed centrally, except that I can find 15-20 MLS center backs with roughly the same ability as a center back. That’s just not the case with left backs in MLS, a position with far less league-wide depth.
Pearce in the middle? He’s in a clump of similar center backs.
Pearce on the left? He’s probably No. 1 in Major League Soccer.
Yes, San Jose’s Justin Morrow or Sporting Kansas City’s Seth Sinovic might have something to say about it. The LA Galaxy’s Todd Dunivant is as reliable as they come, although probably not the attacker that Pearce can be. And at 32, he’s four year’s older than Pearce. But let’s not bog down here.
Still, for reasons that had to do with personnel on hand and … well, who knows why else, Pearce has played in the middle more than out left for Chivas USA and New York (his current address) over the last two years.
So I was interested to see that Pearce was, in fact, on the left in the Red Bulls’ come-from-behind win yesterday, 3-2, over Swedish First Division side Malmo at the IMG Academy in Bradenton, Fla.
In the middle: Markus Holgersson and Jamison Olave. With Kosuke Kimura on the right, that looks like a fairly strong back line, and one that add pressure up the wings on the attack.
Thierry Henry got his first preseason goal for the Red Bulls.
- MLS Preview: Portland Timbers at LA Galaxy 0
- Goal, assist from Neymar give Brazil win, prolong Mexico’s woes 1
- MLS Preview: Houston Dynamo at Montréal Impact 0
- USA can theoretically clinch a World Cup berth in their next match 3
- Graham Zusi keeps making it harder for Landon Donovan to get back into U.S. national team 25
- Graham Zusi keeps making it harder for Landon Donovan to get back into U.S. national team (25)
- What we learned from Tuesday’s U.S. win over Panama (19)
- Which U.S. men have locked up World Cup roster spots? (16)
- Three huge positives to take from USA’s convincing win over Panama (15)
- Broadcast of U.S. v. Panama was second highest audience for World Cup Qualifier (14)
- Posnanski: How Heat won a game of mistakes
- LIVE: Stanley Cup Final Game 4 pregame show
- PHT: Can Blackhawks solve Rask in Game 4?
- PFT: Report: Hernandez accused of prior shooting
- CSN: Report: Hernandez 'not ruled out' as suspect
- GTC: Tiger pulls out of AT&T citing elbow issue
- HBT: Biogenesis suspensions still likely coming
- Play Video: Police clash with protesters in Brazil
- Play Video: Highlights: Sounders win in final minutes
- Play Video: Highlights: Revolution dismantle Galaxy
- Play Video: What does New York FC have to do to succeed?
- Play Video: The Hype: Bending the screen like Beckham
- Play Video: Galaxy's Rogers talks about coming out to the public