Pearce still focused as FCD hit their stride

Cut from US squad, Hoops star still anchors his club

More than a month has passed since Heath Pearce learned he wasn’t among the squad selected to represent the United States at the 2010 FIFA World Cup.

Since then, he has started at right back for all three of FCD’s recent wins, and he’s put that disappointment firmly behind him.

“You know that you’re going to be facing challenges and some of those obstacles” Pearce said Thursday. “You just have to play through adversity. It was a difficult transition at first, but life goes on. I’ve been pulling for the U.S. in the World Cup and have been watching games since then. The team’s been getting results and that makes the transition much easier.”

FCD head coach Schellas Hyndman has clearly noticed Pearce’s focus since returning.

“I think there was still a grudge, a pain in his heart” Hyndman said. “And I think while the U.S. was playing, it was vivid. It was in front of him. [He thinks] those are the guys he could be there with. Now that the U.S. is out, I think it’s a lot easier to let it go because you’ve got to let it go.”

The veteran player has been a big part of his club’s current winning streak but isn’t surprised by how well FCD have been playing of late.

“I wouldn’t say there’s one particular thing,” Pearce said. “We’ve been playing well the entire year. We’ve had a string of a number of good games this season.”

And as FCD’s starting right back, he is one-fourth of a solid back line that also features Jair Benitez on the left and Ugo Ihemelu and George John in the middle, a group that has been together for most of 2010.

“It’s a really beneficial thing late in the game when you don’t have to worry about guys around you and you’re able to focus on getting the result, because you know the guys around you are going to hold their own weight and support you,” Pearce said.

Even though FCD have gotten just four goals from their forwards so far this year, the club is still finding a way to win.

“I think it’s always a good thing when you’ve got goals coming from different parts of the field,” Pearce said. “You’ve got everybody contributing from different positions. There have been midfielders getting assists and strikers setting up goals by midfielders. I think that speaks a lot about our team, what we’re capable of and how dangerous we are from different parts of the field."