CHESTER, PA - OCTOBER 12: Heath Pearce #14 of the United States at PPL Park on October 12, 2010 (Photo by Drew Hallowell/Getty Images)
Suarez, Palencia, Loquito, Trujillo, Ramirez, Espinoza and Panchito. These are just some of the names most would associate with a team named Chivas. But Pearce? Conrad? Kljestan? Razov? Guzan? Bornstein? Not so much. But yet, for a team that was born south of the border, it has quite a United States flavor to it.. Starting here, lets take a look at the Rojiblancos who have spent time with the United States National team, starting with recent call up, Heath Pearce.It was with great anticipation that this Goat Parade contributor awaited the roster announcement for the recent United States' friendly vs. Mexico. Not since Jonathan Bornstein in 2010, had one of our Goats featured on the national team. Would one feature at long last? The answer, yes.
Heath Pearce is no stranger to the US National team. Having made his debut in late 2005, Pearce made a push to be included in the 2006 FIFA World Cup team. Despite 5 caps in the lead up, the Modesto, CA native would not be chosen by then Coach Bruce Arena to go to Germany. However, when Bob Bradley became the man in charge of the US National team in 2007, he looked to Heath Pearce to fill in at Left Back. While he featured briefly in Bradley's first match, his first real test on defense would come later in the summer when he was named to the 2007 CONMEBOL Copa America team. While the team went 3 and out, Pearce got the start in the final group match vs. Colombia playing all 90 minutes. From there on, he earned 3 more caps (vs. Brazil, Switzerland and South Africa) to finish out the year. With 10 caps under his belt as 2007 came to a close, a ride full of peaks and valleys awaited as the road to the 2010 FIFA World Cup began the following year.
2008 began for Pearce with a March trip to Poland. Looking to solidify his spot on the team, Pearce went 85 minutes in a 3-0 shutout over the locals. Having earned another opportunity to display his skills, he started and went the distance at Wembley Stadium vs. England that May. The outing didn't go as planned as the US was played off the field in a 2-0 loss. A few days later, Pearce once again suited up for the length of the match as the US lost to Spain 1-0 on a late goal by Xavi. By week's end, the US found itself going up against Argentina (who was ranked #1 in the world at the time). While Pearce didn't go all the way, his 78 minutes on the field helped keep the Albiceleste at bay for a 0-0 draw. As the match concluded, so too did final preparations for the 2010 FIFA World Cup Qualifying campaign that would start the following week. Would he make the cut and go on that journey?