Heath Pearce vs Philadelphia Union
USA Today Sports

Mixup on winning goal

MONTREAL -- Grasping what had just happened last Saturday, when miscommunication between Heath Pearce and Troy Perkins allowed Dom Dwyer to score Sporting Kansas City’s winner, is one thing. Explaining it three days after the fact is another.

The mood had lightened on Tuesday at Impact training. And with time to digest Montreal’s heartbreaking 2-1 loss, Pearce was better equipped to explain what he said was a once-in-a-season mix-up that unfortunately fell on Perkins and him.

“From my perspective, I was running back, and I saw that we had plenty of time,” Pearce told reporters. “I knew there was a man [C.J. Sapong] starting to come behind me, but when I looked up, my first idea was to lay it off to the goalkeeper. But I saw him rushing out. My next instinct was that when I see a goalkeeper rushing out, he’s going to come and either take the ball or clear the ball or something.

“Then,” Pearce continued, “I didn’t hear him say ‘Away’ until I started to kind of leave the play thinking he was coming through, and the guy got a poke and it unfortunately deflected and went straight into the one guy we didn’t want it to go to, and they scored.”

It was Dom Dwyer’s 14th of the season, but more crucially his sixth in three games against Montreal. The Impact were thus aware of the task at hand, and Pearce thought that Montreal got suitably prepared for Dwyer.

“I think he didn’t do anything for most of the game,” Pearce said. “He got a tap-in and he got a mishap at the start of the game as well. Goalkeeper came out to win the ball and he timed it well to get over him and win it first. Other than that, the rest of the game, I don’t think he was much of a nuisance for us. I think we handled him well. I don't think he was really standing out over the 90 minutes. But again, for a striker, he doesn’t really care how he plays over 90 minutes if he gets his goals.