Photo by ISIPhotos.com
By DAN KARELL
Heath Pearce’s tumultuous time in New York has come to an end.
On Wednesday, the club announced that it was parting ways with the out-of-contract defender after an injury-shortened 2013 season. The 29-year-old Pearce only made 14 appearances this season for the Red Bulls before electing to undergo season-ending hip surgery in early July. Pearce is eligible for the MLS Re-Entry Draft next month.
“We want to thank Heath for his time at the club since joining in 2012,” Red Bulls sporting director Andy Roxburgh said in a statement. “Following our discussions with Heath after the conclusion of the 2013 season, it was decided to not offer him a new contract in order to allow both parties to go in our separate ways. We wish Heath the best of luck in the next stage of his career.”
Pearce joined the Red Bulls in May 2012 in a trade with Chivas USA in exchange for forward Juan Agudelo, allocation money, and future considerations. During his stay with the Red Bulls, the 35-times capped U.S. defender made 32 appearances with two goals and two assists, but never lived up to expectations that came with his pedigree and his lofty contract. Pearce earned a base salary this season of $331,236.
With Pearce’s departure, the Red Bulls have now cut ties with four players this offseason, including defenders David Carney and Brandon Barklage, as well as recently retired goalkeeper Kevin Hartman.
On Nov. 18, Pearce told Empire of Soccer that he’d be interested in staying with the Red Bulls if there is an opportunity to do so.
What do you think of this news? Did you expect the Red Bulls to part ways with Pearce? Hoping that Pearce comes back with the Red Bulls at a lower salary? Are you worried about the Red Bulls’ defensive depth for next season?
Share your thoughts below.
Hard to believe he is only 29.
You? Me? You – me? Me – you?
somewhere Hans Backe weeps!
Another off season of the same. Good players out! Yeah I get the expensive salary but I’m not buying it. This team needs to stop releasing players and focusing on finding the midfield player they needed for the past five years. I hope they have something special planned for replacements. Don’t think miller and Kimura will cut it as starters or will make the team competitive against ccl teams
He can still play, but he was making too much. Honestly I’d love to have him back in NY at half the salary. He would have made a big difference for us at left back if he’d been healthy.
+1. If he can regain his previous-NYRB form he can be a great asset. All-star/USMNT caliber LB who can fill any other spot in the p back 4 if needed as well as CDM. I understand the business POV but sad to see him go along with Barklage as well. Best of luck to both of them!
RBNY has also declined to retain Espindola (too expensive, not productive enough).
Hopefully we’re looking at some good, young, athletic options at the back for next season. Best wishes to Heath.
Well, it will be interesting to see who is willing to gamble on him in the re-entry draft and what kind of salary he is willing to accept. The status quo is no more, at least for Heath.
…and meanwhile back at the ranch.