MLS Regular Season

11 July 10:10 am

It's getting to a point where I might as well just copy and paste that headline and re-post it every week.

In all seriousness though, Ryan Meara finds himself atop the MLSsoccer.com Rookie Rankings yet again as he holds a 9-5-4 record between the pipes for New York. The rook out of Fordham did take a bit of a beating in Sunday's 2-0 loss to New England, as he suffered a knee knock early in the match and a knee to the head by fellow rookie Kelyn Rowe in the 87th minute. But Meara didn't let the dings and dents keep him down, as he continued to bounce back to his feet in an effort to finish the match. Rowe was in turn suspended one game for his hit on Meara.

Here's what MLSsoccer.com had to say about Meara in this week's rookie rankings:

"Like Nick DeLeon before him, it appears Meara's stay at the top may be coming to an end. Don't read too much into that, though. The Red Bulls 'keeper has been solid recently, but perhaps not quite the game changer he was early in the season. Of course, he's still No. 1 in these rankings, so take that as a sign that the rookie netminder is still doing plenty right."

It goes without saying that the past few weeks have been tough on the Red Bulls, as they've experienced little to no reprieve on the injury front. However, the upcoming three-game home stand, where the Red Bulls remain an undefeated 5-0-2, can certainly impact their place in the standings and, in turn, Meara's security in these rankings.

The Red Bulls return to action Sunday, July 15, when the host the Seattle Sounders for a 4 PM kickoff. Get your tickets now at Red Bulls Ticket Central, or by calling 877.RB.SOCCER.

10 July 4:06 pm

If the season ended today, then Red Bulls goalkeeper Ryan Meara would be the Rookie of the Year, according to Sports Illustrated's Avi Creditor.

Creditor dished out some of his midseason MLS awards recently; among them being MVP, Rookie of the Year, Newcomer of the Year and Coach of the Year. Here's a snippet of what he had to say about the 21-year-old rookie out of Fordham:

"Following in a long line of unreliable goalkeepers before him, Meara waded through some early slip-ups to become a rock behind a defensive unit that has constantly been changing because of injuries. His command of the box and confidence to come off his line when necessary are two of his most impressive attributes, and his ability to bounce back from an occasional blunder is uncharacteristic of such an inexperienced goalkeeper of his age."

This isn't the first time we've seen Meara's name tossed around in Rookie of the Year considerations, as he has been atop the MLSsoccer.com Rookie Rankings for a number of weeks this season.

Meara and the Red Bulls return to Red Bull Arena Sunday for a 4 PM kickoff against the Seattle Sounders. New York remains a perfect 5-0-2 when playing at RBA, thanks to the continuous crowd support. Join rank with the rest of the screaming fans this weekend by visiting Red Bulls Ticket Central, or by calling 877.RB.SOCCER.

10 July 1:39 pm

The Red Bulls experience a slight drop in this week's power rankings after Sunday's 2-0 loss to the New England Revolution.

It's more than understood that the loss on the road did not sit well with the team, but the upcoming three-game home stand could potentially alter the course a bit. New York remains an undefeated 5-0-2 when playing at Red Bull Arena, a place they've openly declared a "fortress" throughout the course of the season. With three games on tap July 15, 18 and 21, the third place Red Bulls may not only see a jump in power rankings, but also in the Eastern Conference standings as well.

Coming off a 2-0 loss, any drop in the standings is justified. Here's what MLSsoccer.com had to say about the demotion that sends the Red Bulls from third place to fifth:

"Like Sporting KC, the wheels are spinning a little bit for the Red Bulls, who’ve won just once in their last six outings. They were pretty thoroughly outclassed at New England, but now have a nice little homestand – and hopefully a healthy Thierry Henry – to look forward to."

Sports Illustrated sends the Red Bulls down the rankings to sixth place, saying:

"All of the player absences are starting to catch up with the Red Bulls, which have taken just five points from their last five matches and extended their winless streak in New England to 18 matches. With the summer transfer window open, it seems to be an opportune time for New York to make its anticipated big splash."

Not many teams budged in the ESPN power rankings, where the Red Bulls maintain their lock on third place:

"Gillette Stadium continued to be a house of horrors for the short-handed Red Bulls, as they fell to New England 2-0 and extended their road winless streak against the Revs to 18 games. "

Similar to SI's assessment of injuries, Soccer by Ives sends the Red Bulls down to sixth:

"Missing Thierry Henry, Rafa Marquez and Heath Pearce, among others, New York was always going to have a tough time ending its decade-long drought in New England. After a hot start, Kenny Cooper hasn't found the back of the net since May."

The Red Bulls return to action Sunday, July 15, when the host the Seattle Sounders for a 4 PM kickoff. Get your tickets now at Red Bulls Ticket Central, or by calling 877.RB.SOCCER.

08 July 9:53 pm

The New York Red Bulls struggled to find the back of the net Sunday night as they fell to the New England Revolution 2-0 at Gillette Stadium. The outcome marks only the second time this season the Red Bulls have failed to register a goal, the first coming against Real Salt Lake in the second match of the season back on March 17.

Injured starters aside, the second half brought with it a number of scoring opportunities for New York, including a header attempt by Brandon Barklage that just floated over the crossbar and a rip-roaring shot from Kenny Cooper that bounced off the woodwork (Watch: Cooper's Chance). Goalkeeper Ryan Meara had his work cut out for him on the night, as he was forced to make five saves. The loss brings the Red Bulls' overall record to 9-5-4 and keeps them placed third overall in the Eastern Conference.

The Red Bulls return home for the first match of a three-game home stand at Red Bull Arena July 15 when they host the Seattle Sounders for a 4 PM kickoff.

Chicago comes to town Wednesday, July 18 for a matinee match, before the series of home games closes out with Rivalry Day against Philadelphia on July 21. The first 5,000 fans 16 and under through the gates for the Philly match will receive a free Red Bulls flat-brimmed cap.

Get your tickets now at Red Bulls Ticket Central, or by calling 877.RB.SOCCER.

Here are a few photos from Sunday's loss to the Revolution:

08 July 8:37 pm

Kenny Cooper unleashed a rocket of a shot inside the 60th minute that would've leveled the score at one apiece, had it not been for the thump off the post:

08 July 8:06 pm

The Revolution made a run on goal inside the 40th minute and placed a shot into the box that bounced off the crossbar and out. If that weren't dangerous enough, a number of Revs were on hand to potentially bury the loose ball, but as you'll see in the following clip, the Red Bulls defense was able to lock down and wipe out New England's goal-scoring opportunity:

06 July 2:14 pm

Sunday’s match is slated to be yet another intense rivalry for the Red Bulls, as is always the case when playing against a team like the New England Revolution. One guy who knows a thing or two about the New England-New York match up is just one appearance shy from moving into second place on New York's all-time list. That guy is Dane Richards.

“That’s unbelievable,” Richards said following Friday’s training session at Montclair State University. “Hopefully I can finish off with a championship this season.”

The Jamaican midfielder will appear in his 147th match Sunday, placing him second behind only Mike Petke’s total of 169.

So far this season Richards has appeared in 16 of the Red Bulls’ 17 games, providing a goal and two assists along the way.

Richards has been with the Red Bulls since joining MLS in 2007. He’s since tallied 11 goals, 26 assists and 131 starts out of 146 total games played. Richards remains second overall in total starts as well, 27 behind Petke’s 158.

03 July 4:40 pm

After posting a 1-0-1 record over the past week's worth of action, including a win over D.C. United and a draw against Toronto, the Red Bulls find themselves in third place across the board in Week 17 Power Rankings.

One common theme in three of the four rankings is the placement of D.C., a team the Red Bulls pulled out a 'W' against in front of a sold-out crowd at Red Bull Arena on June 24.

Here's what MLSsoccer.com had to say about placing the Red Bulls in third place, one spot behind DC:

"The Red Bulls have made themselves into one of the league's toughest outs, and with a schedule that features 10 of the last 16 at home (where they're undefeated), look poised to make their first-ever serious run at a Supporters' Shield."

ESPN.com also went with the San Jose, DC, New York 1-2-3 combo:

"At first glance, a 1-1 tie with cellar-dwelling Toronto seems like a reason for New York to hang its head. But with injuries continuing to plague the back line, plus TFC's improved play, the Red Bulls will take the point and move on."

Soccer By Ives drops a subtle hint that New York may only be in third place because of a game in hand, which isn't all that discouraging since the Red Bulls could potentially leapfrog their rival this weekend, as D.C. will have a bye:

"Held to a 1-1 draw by Toronto, New York fell two points behind D.C. United for first place in the Eastern Conference, though the Red Bulls do have a game in hand. Getting a full 90 minutes out of Thierry Henry was an encouraging development."

I like where Sports Illustrated's Avi Creditor is going with this one, as he gives the Red Bulls a promotion from fifth overall to third and acknowledges New York's dominance over D.C. on June 24 (making him the only one to place D.C. United below the Red Bulls):

"It's hard to argue with Hans Backe's assessment that the Red Bulls' first 55 minutes against D.C. were the most complete performance that they've turned in this season. Even with Thierry Henry on the bench, New York managed to bounce back from an opening-minute lapse to overrun D.C. and respond to the 4-1 shellacking it suffered at RFK Stadium in April."

What's your take on this week's power rankings? Let us know what you think below.