Ryan Meara saw no action this week after picking up a knock on his hip. Coach Backe said that the Fordham graduate could go, but the team did not want to risk further injuring the rookie keeper. Even though he missed the action, there’s still no doubt that he’s been very important to this club.
Last season’s goalkeeper Frank Rost, struggled protecting the net. The 21 year old Meara, on the other hand, has been solid in goal since day one. In fact, he said a preseason match versus Puma was the game he realized he could play at this level.
The keeper now has his first challenge as Bill Gaudette, a St. John’s grad, stepped up last week. The thirty year old, who was acquired from the Los Angeles Galaxy, kept clean sheets on both Wednesday and Saturday. The big trait Gaudette brings to the Bulls is, well, he’s big. The veteran weighs 205 pounds and a large chunk of that is muscle. The Red Bulls training staff has been working with Meara to bulk him up.
There’s no doubt Ryan Meara has earned the starting job. He’s made plenty of terrific saves, and boasts three clean sheets already. He’s also received honors consistently for rookie of the week, and looks to be the front runner as rookie of the year. It’ll be interesting to see how he bounces back from this injury; will he be less aggressive coming off his line for fear of reinjuring himself? The addition of Bill Gaudette should help the young goalie, as Meara can learn from the veteran, and the competition is sure to motivate the Fordham graduate. More importantly, Gaudette can share some of his workout secrets.