June 20, 2012
PEARCE ON THE DRAW
'There was a chip on our shoulder'
VANCOUVER -- What a difference four days make.
|Heath Pearce: “There was a chip on our shoulder, but it wasn't so much saying we need to make up for Sunday but we needed to go back to what we know makes us successful."
Linda Cuttone/Sports Vue Images
After playing well below par in their 3-1 loss at the Chicago Fire on Sunday, the Red Bulls came out with a lot more heart against the Vancouver Whitecaps and managed a 1-1 draw at BC Place on Wednesday night.
Central defender Heath Pearce tallied the equalizer goal in the 86th minute in the Major League Soccere encounter.
“There was a chip on our shoulder, but it wasn't so much saying we need to make up for Sunday but we needed to go back to what we know makes us successful,” he said.
Defender Martin Bonjour had given the Whitecaps a 1-0 lead in the 75th minute. He scored his first goal of the season, a 17-yard effort, past goalkeeper Ryan Meara. A cross from the right side went through several Red Bulls players at the top of the penalty area to Bonjour.
The Red Bulls, who did not have much time to equalize, battled back.
“It's a resilient group of guys," Pearce said. "The biggest factor was that nobody panicked. Everybody knew the objectives and that we were going to maybe get one or two more chances and luckily we were able to do that. That just shows the character of the group. You go through the ebbs and flows of the season and sometimes you're going to have off games.
"That's just part of the game and it's not so much about those bad days but how you respond to those as the cliché goes. I thought we were resilient with the way we kept pressing on them.”
The Red Bulls played without several key players, including the injured Thierry Henry and Rafa Marquez, Wilman Conde, who was sat down because coach Hans Backe did not want to aggravate any injuries by playing him three times within eight days, and Mehdi Ballouchy, who could not leave the United States because of his green card.
“I think it speaks to the character of the team both home and away that we're getting points and we're doing it in different ways," Pearce said. "We're not always playing the most attractive soccer, and sometimes we’re getting points in an attractive way and sometimes we're grinding it out. That's the stuff that pays off later in the season. It's good to continue to pick up points.”