Heath Pearce Q&A

FC Dallas defender reacts to preliminary USMNT selection

heath-pearce-US

Photo Credit: 
Victor Decolongon

FC
Dallas defender Heath Pearce has been chosen among the 30 players U.S. Men’s
National Team head coach Bob Bradley has selected for the squad’s preliminary
roster for the 2010 FIFA World Cup. Pearce will join the U.S. National Team
training camp in Princeton, N.J. on Sunday following FCD’s contest at
Philadelphia. The U.S. squad will train there for two weeks, playing friendlies
against the Czech Republic and Turkey before the final 23-man squad is
announced on June 1.

A native
of Modesto, Calif., Pearce joined FC Dallas in September 2009 after spending
four years playing first with FC Nordsjælland of the Danish Superliga and later
with Hansa Rostock of the German Bundesliga. He has started every game for FC
Dallas during the 2010 MLS season, appearing as both a defender and a
midfielder on the left and right sides.

We
caught up with the 25-year-old Pearce, who has more than 30 caps with the U.S.
National Team, just after learning of his selection.

FCDallas.com: How does it feel to make the 30-man
U.S. roster?

Heath
Pearce:
It’s a
great feeling, it’s an honor. It’s been a long four years that I’ve been part
of the U.S. National Team and to be able to be part of this final 30 is a great
honor. I’m really excited about going into camp.

FCDallas.com: Going into camp, what will be your
focus on the field toward proving you deserve a spot on the team?

Pearce: I think going into camp my main
idea is to take each day one at a time and make the most of it each day, to
remember that it’s things that I’ve done prior to this that have gotten me
there but it’s going to require a lot more to make that final 23.

FCDallas.com: If you were to make the squad, what
would it mean to you to represent your country at the World Cup?

Pearce: To represent my country at the
World Cup is the highest honor you can have in soccer. Any time that you put on
the jersey and you’re representing your country, no matter what the game is,
you’re an ambassador for the sport and an ambassador for your country. You have
to wear it with pride, and to be able to do that at the highest level would be
a dream come true.

FCDallas.com: How important is your play this
spring for FC Dallas toward your chances of making the squad?

Pearce: I think it’s extremely important. I
think the most important thing is the results we’re getting as a team. Any time
that you’re getting the results as a team and doing well as a team, it’s always
going to make individuals look better. It’s always important to be consistent
and continue to develop, and I think FC Dallas has really helped me to become a
better player. So in terms of increasing my chances, I think it’s about getting
the results that we’ve been getting and putting ourselves in a position to win
each game.

FCDallas.com: Has it helped you to play multiple
positions for FC Dallas and perhaps show your versatility?

Pearce: I think it’s definitely helped me
become a better player because any time you can play multiple positions it
gives you a better chance of being selected. With the World Cup looming, to be
able to show that I can play multiple positions can only increase my chances.

FCDallas.com: Regardless of whether you make the
World Cup squad, how does the experience of playing with the USMNT improve your
game?

Pearce: I think it’s just the overall level
of training and level of games. The international level is just a whole other
level from the club level, so to play with the U.S. National Team and train
with them day in, day out like I have on numerous occasions, it steps your game
up. It teaches you to play fast, think fast and really increases your
confidence to be able to play at a level with players that you see playing on
TV every weekend.

FCDallas.com: You’ll be leaving the team after
the Philadelphia game to head to training camp – with the team on a win streak
right now, any mixed emotions?

Pearce: I think the team has been doing
really well. I feel like I’ve helped contribute to getting results, but I also
think that we have a number of players who are able to do that, and during that
time that I’ll be gone I know there’s a player capable of stepping in and being
a contributor right from the start. It’ll be sad to miss the games that I’ll be
missing, but on the other side it’s been a real honor so far to play for FC
Dallas and hopefully I’ll get to play many more games with them.

Also see: Pearce uses versatility to earn U.S. call