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February 6, 2013
Meara won't see any action until Arizona -- at the earliest

Ryan Meara won't play a minute when the Red Bulls meet Malmo of Sweden in an exhibition game on Thursday.

In fact, if everything goes according to plan, the second-year goalkeeper could see his first action of the pre-season during the Tucson Desert Diamond Cup in Tucson, Ariz. later this month.

Meara is returning from hip surgery and the Red Bulls are not rushing Meara at all. The Fordham University product played the opening 18 games last Major League Soccer season before the injury shelved him for the year.

"I just spoke with Ryan an hour ago in the lobby. He's doing very well," Petke said on a conference call on Wednesday. "Every day we've seen him longer and longer with the goalkeepers. He's not ready to step on the field. However, fingers crossed, and don't quote me on what's going to happen. Ideally, it would be great to get him at some point in Arizona into a game. whether that's the first game or the last game.

"He's very close and has come a long way. He is ahead of his workout schedule. He is anxious to get on and we're anxious to get him back on the field. But first and foremost, what we don't want to do is, considering it has been a long process for him -- it was bit of a serious injury -- is rush him along. He is coming along real well and we hope to get him back real soon."

It is not known whether Meara will be ready to go for the March 3 season opener at the Portland Timbers. Luis Robles, who played down the stretch last season, probably see the bulk of the action against Malmo and is in line to begin the season.

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