Growing Up On Timmy: Red Bulls GK Meara has been learning from Howard since MetroStars days

New York Red Bulls goalkeeper Ryan Meara grew up watching and idolizing Tim Howard, the U.S. Men’s National team keeper who recently made the most saves by a goalkeeper at a World Cup, and says that the current Everton stopper has played a large impact on his own style of play.

“It just really seems like he gets better and better every year and I think, as a goalkeeper, what I like most about his game – and obviously he's a great shotstopper and keeps his teams in games – is that he’s so consistent. He rarely makes a mistake. As a goalkeeper, I think that’s the most important aspect, if you can incorporate that into your game, that’s huge for your team.”

The 23-year-old goalkeeper grew up in Yonkers, NY, and was a huge MetroStars fan. Meara immediately took a liking to Howard who shared his position.

“I’ve followed him since when I was first getting into soccer and he was just coming up through the MetroStars and really making a name for himself. I kind of latched onto him. I got his autograph once and took a picture and I’ll never forget it. I’ve followed him from the MetroStars and onto Manchester United and now onto Everton.”

The Fordham alum was certainly inspired by Howard’s record-setting display against Belgium, and it wasn’t the first time.

“I don’t think it gets better than that, than the performance he had [against Belgium],” says Meara, “On the world’s biggest stage at the World Cup. Belgium’s a great team so he needed to be at his best just to give us a chance. I think he was. As a goalkeeper, once the game gets going, you make a couple saves, you get more and more confident as the game goes on. You could see him out there. It didn’t look like he was going to get beat. It took something special to beat him both times.”