Of the more than 100 IMG Academy soccer alumni playing in professional leagues across the world, Heath Pearce may have found the most success.
In a career that already includes stints in the Danish Superliga (Denmark) and Bundesliga (Germany), as well as 30-plus U.S. Men's National Team caps, Pearce currently stars as a back for the New York Red Bulls in the MLS. He credits IMG Academy, though, for providing the launching pad to his career.
"I don't know where I'd be in my career if it wasn't for IMG Academy," Pearce recently said after his Red Bulls scrimmaged the Columbus Crew on the IMG Academy campus. "You have access to everything you need -- on and off the field -- and you just learn how to be independent and responsible."
With the final stage of World Cup qualifying just underway, Pearce is still working to earn a spot on the U.S. World Cup roster. After earning his first caps before the 2006 World Cup and making the 30-man roster for the 2010 World Cup, Pearce is holding out hope for 2014.
"It's still my dream to represent my country," Pearce says. "I just have to perform to the best of my ability and stay healthy. Everything else is out of my control."