May 2, 2012
WHY MEARA WON'T BE WITH IRISH
Backe: 'He wants to play; I donít want [it], so thatís why'
By Kristian R. Dyer
|Ryan Meara: ďJust seeing players go through this and [coach Hans Backe] thinks itís better for me to stay here and keep focusing on doing well, getting games on the Red Bulls."
Linda Cuttone/Sports Vue Images
BigAppleSoccer.com Contributing Editor
UPPER MONTCLAIR, N.J. Ė The only thing standing in the way of Red Bulls goalkeeper Ryan Meara and the chance to play international soccer appears to be his club.
Meara, who was recently called up to the Irish Under-21 National Team for an upcoming match against Denmark, earned his first MLS shutout on Saturday in a 1-0 win over New England Ė but his international career will have to debut at a later date.
Talking to BigAppleSoccer.com, Meara said that he was first approached by the Irish federation during pre-season as the National Team was aware of his heritage and eligibility for a call-up. At this point Meara has not been contacted by U.S. Soccer and heís really just beginning to embrace the magnitude of the call-up and the possibility of playing on the international stage.
ďI donít know, I have no idea ,Ē Meara said after he was asked how he was discovered by Ireland.
ďI guess they kind of watched the first bunch of games, followed me I guess. They wanted me to come in. Itís something I hadnít even thought about. Iím so focused on the here and now with the Red Bulls. It wasnít something I was thinking about.Ē
The former Fordham goalkeeper was honored by the call-up, which now wonít happen.
ďI just told him we will turn it down,Ē coach Hans Backe said.
ďHe wants to play; I donít want [it], so thatís why.Ē
Backe acknowledged that he had spoken to Meara about the call-up and the Red Bulls do have the right to decline the federationís invitation. But he offered no more insight into the matter.
ďItís stupid. Iím not commenting on it,Ē Backe said.
Meara is taking the disappointment in stride, saying that it allows him to focus on his club career for the time being. He also tips his hat towards Backeís insight into the situation and at 21-years-old, acknowledges that his career is still young and growing. For now, it seems that Backeís experience in such matters is something that Meara is willing to lean on.
ďWe talked about it. [Backe] obviously has a lot more experience in this game then I do,Ē Meara said.
ďJust seeing players go through this and he thinks itís better for me to stay here and keep focusing on doing well, getting games on the Red Bulls. Iím focused on here and getting ready for Saturday.Ē
Follow Kristian R. Dyer on Twitter @KristianRDyer