Harrison, NJ (May 26th, 2018) – Despite missing out on an opportunity to gain a vital three points at the expense of the Philadelphia Union, the New York Red Bulls have to be pleased with the state of their defense. With captain and MLS ironman Luis Robles on the bench, the Red Bulls’ have had to rely on keeper Ryan Meara over the last two matches to fill the void.
Ryan Meara Steps In
The Red Bulls unveiled in-stadium branding commemorating goalkeeper Luis Robles’ ironman streak. Meanwhile, on the field, backup Ryan Meara warmed up for his second straight start while Robles recovers. Having put in good work vs. Atlanta in his first league start since 2012, it was clear that head coach Jesse Marsch could rest easy with his goalkeeping situation. “I think that if you would have told Ryan he would play in two big games and he would walk away with one goal after 180 minutes he would be very satisfied with that, and I think that it’s not just the one goal in 180 minutes,” Marsch said after the match.
Marsch continued, “It’s also the way he played, the saves he made, the clarity he had on the field. Like his transition into the team, it was like he’s been there for years.”
Incidentally, Ryan Meara has been with the organization for years. When an injury ended his 2012 campaign, Luis Robles stepped in. Meara has spent the time on loan to NYCFC and won a championship with New York Red Bulls II. He also was integral to New York’s run to the US Open Cup final last year. Despite not featuring in league matches, Meara remains grateful. “Anytime you can play here it’s great. It doesn’t feel like, I guess between all the Open Cup and Red Bull II games I feel like I’ve played here a bunch but anytime you get a game, it’s good. Opportunities are hard to come by so I try to make the most of it,” Meara said.
In two matches of work, Meara has made some spectacular saves. He has shown very little rust. He’s added his first clean sheet of the season and stopped all three shots on goal in last night’ match vs. the Union. Meara, however, was still left wanting more. “We’re all disappointed to not win. Anytime we play at home we expect to win, and we knew coming into Philly tonight it was going to be a battle, it always is, and tonight is no different, so we’re disappointed to not get all three points.”
What Happens Now
With Meara shining in relief of Robles, the elephant in the room becomes whether Robles steps right back into a starting role when he’s healthy. For now, Marsch isn’t interested in shaking thing up at goal. “I don’t think that Ryan’s performances will change our approach with Luis. It’s just making sure that whatever we do with Luis we set him up to be successful and strong and ready to go.”