NY Red Bulls impede Ryan Meara’s Ireland call-up
New York Red Bulls have told goalkeeper Ryan Meara to stay at the club rather than travelling to Europe to link up with the Republic of Ireland under-21 squad at the end of the month.
Meara, who qualifies through his Irish grandparents, has been the MLS side’s first choice between the posts this season, and the franchise do not want him to miss any league games in order to play with Noel King’s u21 side. “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,” Meara told MLSsoccer.com. “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.”
As it is not a senior international call-up, the Red Bulls are not required by FIFA to release Meara to play in the matches with Denmark and Italy. Meara followed the club line, perhaps not willing to upset his club bosses by stating his disappointment about the decision: “Any player wants to push themselves and see how far they can go. It’s an honour to be considered for Ireland, but like I said, right now, I am focused on what’s going on here with the Red Bulls. Every player wants to play international soccer. But for me, I’ll cross that bridge when that comes.”
Ireland’s next under-21 game is against Turkey on August 14th, with a double-header away to Hungary and Italy in September. Hopefully Meara will have consolidated his position as number one at NY Red Bulls by then, and will be able to join up with Noel King’s young side.