NY Red Bulls’ rookie goalkeeper Ryan Meara is fresh off his first clean sheet of his career, a 1-0 victory over the New England Revolution on Saturday afternoon.
Injuries to the Red Bulls back line has resulted in some stressful and difficult moments for Meara, but he appears to be rounding into form.
The Red Bulls organization, and its supporters, are not the only ones taking notice.
Tuesday afternoon it was announced that the Ireland U-21 National team put in a request for Meara to join the team for a camp later this month.
The Red Bulls were quick to announce that they have denied this request, keeping his focus on MLS and winning matches in NY. Under FIFA regulations, the club is not required to let a player go if he is being called into duty for a youth team competition.
After a training session on Tuesday, Meara spoke candidly about his desire to challenge himself in international soccer, but also understands the motives of his club team.
“I got called in for the U-21s, but the Red Bulls would rather me stay here and focus on continuing to win games here,” explained Meara in an article on MLSsoccer.com.
He added: “My main focus is here as well. We have a great team and I think the goal is the MLS Cup, so that’s all I’m focusing on.”
Ireland U-21 Head Coach Noel King also spoke Tuesday, explaining the reasoning behind their request for Meara’s services.
“We’ve been following him for a couple of months and then when he started (New York’s) season as No. 1, that was a big statement,” said King in an article on the Sporting News website.
“He’s a big lad with good hands and he’s a strong kicker.”
With his ‘focus’ remaining in NY, the club hopes they can continue to win, despite an injury-ridden lineup, and work towards their ultimate goal of an MLS Cup.