MLS All-Star Game 2011: Heath Pearce, Nick LaBrocca Heading To NY

When Nick LaBrocca was obtained in a trade for Alan Gordon from Toronto FC in March, few expected more than a squad player. But he took an opportunity to restart his career on a rebuilding team with a new coach, has been involved in one-third of the team's goals to this point, and provides some grit in the midfield as well. His rise this season has been surprising, but LaBrocca deserves the plaudits he's receiving with an MLS all-star selection.

Heath Pearce was traded to Chivas USA from FC Dallas in the offseason, and the plans had a new backline being created around him and Jimmy Conrad. But with Conrad going down with a concussion in the second game of the season, Pearce has picked up the slack and rejuvenated Chivas' defense. Moving from right back to central defense, even though he's never played the position, Pearce has proved to be a steady presence for a young team. He may be under the league's radar, but Pearce's MLS all-star selection is much deserved.

Alicia Ratterree, The Goat Parade

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