Red Bulls part ways with Pearce

[MLS TRANSACTIONS] The Supporters’ Shield-winning season of the Red Bulls was good for the careers of some players, and not so good for others. Put former U.S. national team defender Heath Pearce in the latter category.

He played 18 games for New York last season after being acquired in May 2012 from Chivas USA in the Juan Agudelo trade, but he underwent season-ending hip surgery this past summer after making 14 appearances (11 starts).

He is out of contract, and the team announced Wednesday it will not offer him a new deal, which makes him eligible for the Re-Entry Draft. Stage 1 of the Re-Entry Draft will be held Dec. 12, followed by Stage 2 on Dec. 18.

A list of eligible players will be released Dec. 9, two days after Sporting Kansas City hosts Real Salt Lake in MLS Cup 2013. Players who meet parameters of age and MLS experience can opt to enter the Re-Entry Draft, though participation is voluntary.

Prior to joining New York, Pearce, 29, played for FC Dallas (2009-10) and Chivas USA (2011-12) after European stints in Denmark with FC Nordsjaelland (2005-07) and in Germany for Hansa Rostock (2007-09). He started on the FC Dallas team that lost in MLS Cup 2010.

“We want to thank Heath for his time at the club since joining in 2012,” said Red Bulls sporting director Andy Roxburgh 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 grew up in Modesto, Calif., and played three seasons at the University of Portland before heading to Europe. He represented the USA at the Gold Cup in 2009 and was on the roster for the Confederations Cup in the same year. He has 35 caps.
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