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NEW YORK RED BULLS

February 27, 2013
HIP, HIP AWAY
Recovering from hip surgery, Meara hopes to be ready to play by early April


Ryan Meara: "Right now I’m doing a lot of things but I hope that real soon I’ll be able to do everything. You just don’t want to push too much and have a setback that could cost you more time.”
Ryan Meara: "Right now I’m doing a lot of things but I hope that real soon I’ll be able to do everything. You just don’t want to push too much and have a setback that could cost you more time.”
Linda Cuttone/Sports Vue Images
By Kristian R. Dyer
BigAppleSoccer.com Contributing Editor

UPPER MONTCLAIR, N.J. – Red Bulls goalkeeper Ryan Meara is “dying to get back out there” and could be stepping out onto the field for full training come next week as he continues to recover from last year’s hip surgery.

Meara, who suffered a hip injury last summer and underwent surgery in August, is closing in on full health and fitness. While he has been able to train with the team and participate with the other goalkeepers in drills, Meara has been held back from any live action such as scrimmages. But his return date could be as early as next week with an eye towards being ready for a match in early April.

For the Fordham University product, it was welcome news.

“It has been frustrating because I want to be out there, I really do,” Meara said after training at Montclair State University. “But I’m getting better. Each day I can do a little bit more. Right now I’m doing a lot of things but I hope that real soon I’ll be able to do everything. You just don’t want to push too much and have a setback that could cost you more time.”

There is competition now for Meara when he returns to the field. After a strong finish to the season last year, Luis Robles seems to have the edge as the team’s starter and Ian Joyce, most recently with the Colorado Rapids, is on trial with the club, meaning that Meara WON'T BE the incumbent starter when he returns.

“All I’m focused now is getting back on the field. It’s been a long time on the sidelines getting healthy,” Meara said. “From there, you want to be the starter and be No. 1 but I’ll cross that bridge when I get to it. It will be a good competition for the team and I will relish that.”

As for his international ambitions, Meara said that he was set to get called up to Ireland’s Under-21 side in September but the hip injury and subsequent surgery prevented that opportunity. Last spring, Meara was called up to the Irish U-21’s but the Red Bulls blocked the move, preferring that the player stayed with the club. It was a high profile tug of war that made headlines in Ireland.

Now 22, Meara is too old for the U-21 side but there is still communication with the Irish federation.

“They told me to get healthy and they’d be keeping tabs on me,” he said. “All they told me is to just get healthy and they’ll be in touch.”

If and when that call comes, Meara is hopeful that head coach Mike Petke will be more amenable to his international interest then the last coaching staff.

“I haven’t had a conversation with him yet. Down the road if this situation comes up again, we’ll cross that bridge when we get to it,” Meara said. “But I’m sure Mike will know a player’s point of view when we come to it.”

Follow BigAppleSoccer.com’s contributing editor Kristian R. Dyer on Twitter @KristianRDyer
 
 
 
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