Jan. 12, 2012
WATCH MEARA'S MLS DRAFT ANNOUNCEMENT
Kansas City, Mo. - The culmination of a memorable senior season and career came to fruition for goalie Ryan Meara on Thursday, as he was drafted in the second round of the 2012 MLS SuperDraft by the New York Red Bulls with the 31st overall selection. The senior was the only pick of the draft for the Red Bulls and was the first Fordham played chosen by an MLS team since the New York/New Jersey MetroStars selected John Wolyniec in 1999.
Meara reflected on the accomplishment: "It's pretty crazy, it's almost surreal. I don't think it will set in for a couple of days, but I was with my family and friends and when I saw my picture and name come up I was thrilled. It will be great to remain close to home."
Meara was named the A-10 Defensive Player of the year and All A-10 First Team following his senior season in 2011. Meara posted an 11-6-1 record while setting the school's career mark in shutouts (31). He was part of a defense that recorded a pair of clean sheets against ranked opponents Xavier (#23) and Charlotte (#11), and he posted a career-low goals against average (0.65) while stopping an all-time best 12 shots in the season end win over Temple.
As for conference marks, he led the league in goals against average (0.65), shutouts (10) and save percentage (.862). Meara was also named to the NSCAA All-Mid-Atlantic Team following his senior season and for the third time in his career. Additionally, the senior was named All-A10 three times.
He went on to say, "This is great for the soccer program at Fordham and for Coach McElderry. Having two players get drafted here says a lot".
Coach McElderry shared his thoughts on Meara: "I am very happy for Ryan and his family. He has been a special player for Fordham over the past four years leading Fordham to four consecutive winning seasons, a conference championship and many individual records. I know he will continue to be successful at the next level not only because of his exceptional talent, but his work rate, personality and competitiveness. I look forward to watching Ryan develop and represent Fordham for years to come in the professional ranks."
Erik Solér, General Manager of the Red Bulls, mentioned why the team liked Meara, "Todd Hoffard, our goalkeeping coach, has been following him for a long time. We think he's the best goalkeeper in the college system. He's big, he's strong, we need a goalie, and he's from New York. Every factor that we looked at was there, and he was the player we wanted most from the draft simply because we needed a goalkeeper. Realistically there were a bunch of others we couldn't calculate on getting, so we were very happy. We went here with a positive attitude and we got the best out of what we could get."
In the SuperDraft, Meara was the first goalkeeper selected and was the only player chosen from an Atlantic 10 school. Meara's time to celebrate is short lived as he will report to pre-season camp with the RedBulls on Monday.