We’re revisiting some of the top moments of the Red Bulls’ 2012 season from now until the end of the year. In this piece, we’ll look back at Ryan Meara’s first-career MLS shutout.
Ryan Meara was minutes away from claiming his first-career MLS shutout when the Red Bulls paid a visit to Crew Stadium on Apr. 7.
New York was well on its way to claiming three points on the road for the first time in 2012 when they carried a 3-0 lead into the final minutes of the match. Then, in the 89th minute, a defensive lapse allowed the Crew’s Chad Marshall to walk in untouched to head home a corner kick that cracked the goose egg. Thierry Henry would later rip home his second of the match in the 90th minute to close out the 4-1 win, but Meara’s hopes of registering the shutout would have to wait at least one more match.
Match Highlights: NY 1, NE 0
Members of the Red Bulls’ back line spoke on Meara’s behalf the following week during the team’s training session at Montclair State University, expressing how much they felt like they let their ‘keeper down. Meara, while somewhat disappointed he didn’t secure the shutout, was satisfied nevertheless with a big win on the road and three points in the standings.
“You never want to give up a goal even if it is 10-0,” Meara said at the following day’s training session. “What hurt was that you could almost taste it, it was the 89th minute, but we’ll take the 4-1. I think we played great again so just keep it going.”
Like the old saying goes, persistence pays off, and it paid off big for Meara when he earned his first clean sheet just three weeks later in a clutch 1-0 win over the New England Revolution. Meara’s five-save performance helped kick off the team’s five-game win streak and opened up the flood gates for his play in goal, as he later added another two consecutive shutouts.
Not long after, Meara’s name began to surface in Rookie of the Year talks. Unfortunately a hip injury sustained in late July, coupled with the subsequent surgery, forced Meara to miss the remainder of the 2012 season, as he closed out with an overall record of 9-5-4 during his rookie campaign.