UPPER MONTCLAIR, N.J. — New York Red Bulls goalkeeper Ryan Meara has been called into Ireland’s Under-21 national team for a camp later this month, but he will not be attending.
The Red Bulls have denied Ireland’s U-21 team’s request to release Meara for a camp at the end of the month that includes a friendly against Denmark and a European Championship qualifier vs. Italy, preferring to keep the rookie out of Fordham during the two-week international break in which no MLS games will be played.
Meara sharp vs. New England
“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 following Tuesday's training. “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.”
The camp and games fall during the international break at the end of May and beginning of June, but FIFA regulations do not require the Red Bulls to let Meara go since he is being summoned for a youth team competition.
That, however, does not mean the 21-year-old has no interest in international soccer.
“Any player wants to push themselves and see how far they can go,” said Meara, who is eligible to represent Ireland through his grandparents. “It’s an honor to be considered for Ireland, but like I said, right now, I am focused on what’s going on here with the Red Bulls.”
Fresh off recording his first clean sheet as a professional this past weekend, Meara revealed Ireland first touched base with him during the preseason, and that he has not had any contact with anyone in the US Soccer organization.
Born in Yonkers, N.Y., Meara is eligible to represent the United States, and he has previously expressed an admiration for US men’s national team goalkeeper Tim Howard. Still, he was noncommittal when asked if he would play for the US.
“Every player wants to play international soccer,” said Meara. “But for me, I’ll cross that bridge when that comes.”
Franco Panizo covers the New York Red Bulls for MLSsoccer.com. He can be reached at Franco8813@gmail.com.