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Hansa Rostock demotes U.S. nat'l-teamer Pearce

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German second-division side Hansa Rostock has dropped U.S. international Heath Pearce from the first team. The defender and goalkeeper Kenneth Kronholm will train with the reserve side starting immediately.

According to German magazine Bild, the lef tback was demoted after a breakfast conversation with coach Andreas Zachhuber. The cause was simple: "For performance reasons," Zachhuber told Bild.

Pearce lost his spot in the team after returning late to training in January 2008, but worked his way back into the squad. However, since then Hansa has been relegated down to the 2. Bundesliga and Pearce has found minutes in the second tier of German soccer difficult to come by.

"I said [at the end of the winter break] five weeks ago that everybody has the chance to step up in my training," said Zachhuber, who took over the team in March of this year. "He has not just managed it."

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Things on the international front haven't been rosy for Pearce either. After apparently winning a tussle with Jonathan Bornstein for the starting left back role in Bob Bradley's starting XI, the trainer decided neither were good enough.

Against Trinidad and Tobago in the most recent World Cup qualifying match, Bradley moved winger DaMarcus Beasley back into the defense en route to a 3-0 victory in Nashville, Tenn.