Meara shines as Red Bulls defeat Galaxy, 1-0

2012-03-14_18-33-18_816

BY ADAM SERRANO

CARSON, Calif–The New York Red Bulls may have been missing five starters, but it made little difference as New York picked up their second straight shutout by defeating the Los Angeles Galaxy, 1-0. 

A first half goal by Joel Lindpere and a stellar performance from rookie goalkeeper Ryan Meara was all the Red Bulls needed to defeat the defending MLS Cup champions in front of a sell-out crowd at the Home Depot Center.  

"We got a goal early and did what we had to do to keep the clean sheet in the game, it was a full team effort tonight," said Meara. "It's good that we're learning how to win these tight games sometimes our backs are going to be against the wall and we need to learn how to grind out victories so this was a great win."

The Galaxy were on the front foot early and nearly went ahead in the 14th minute when a Robbie Keane shot sailed over the New York defense, but was cleared off the line due to quick thinking by Red Bulls captain Markus Holgersson. 

For all the Galaxy's pressure, it was New York who struck first blood in the 19th minute when Jan Gunnar Solli fired in a cross from the left side to Lindpere, who finished from a tight angle inside the box. With the goal advantage, the Red Bulls dropped numbers back in midfield giving the Galaxy offense fits as they attempted to break down an organized New York defense. 

"This is the kind of effort, it was a total team effort," said Red Bulls head coach Hans Backe. "Under pressure, we didn't really allow them the real 100 percent scoring chances, it was a lot of crosses and half chances."

Los Angeles pushed ahead in the second half, but the young Red Bulls goalkeeper Meara repeatedly stopped the Galaxy's attempts with his commanding presence in the box. As the second half wore on, the Galaxy committed numbers forward and nearly broke through in the 74th minute when Landon Donovan threaded a pass to second half substitute Chad Barrett, but the forward fired his shot just wide of Meara's net. 

With the clock ticking, the Galaxy maintained the onslaught, but each time  Meara was there to deny them. Perhaps none of his four saves were finer than his fingertip save to deny a shot by Juninho from distance in the 82nd minute.  After out shooting the New York 13-4 over the course of 90 minutes, the Galaxy were once again left to rue their missed opportunities. 

“It’s a bit of a broken record,” Galaxy head coach Bruce Arena said of the club's finishing. “Even giving up a goal we have enough chances to create a couple of goals in this game.”

The win was not the only bit of good news for the Red Bulls as forward Juan Agudelo came on the 82nd minute returning from a lengthy knee injury that the young forward suffered during CONCACAF Olympic qualifying in late March. 

New York (5-3-1) will look to their third straight victory next week as they return to Red Bull Arena to host the Houston Dynamo while the Galaxy (3-5-1) head to Montreal to face the Impact next Saturday. Although the defending champions have now lost as many games as they had in the 2012 season, Donovan believes that his team must put their frustrations behind them and focus on picking up their next victory.

"It's just one of those periods in this game where things are going against us so there's no point in being down or worrying about it," said Donovan. "We just got to get ready and try next week."

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27 Responses to Meara shines as Red Bulls defeat Galaxy, 1-0

  1. BrianK says:

    Couple of notes:

    1. Galaxy was sleepwalking through first 45.
    2. Any coincidence Lindere played centrally and had an impact?
    3. Mara is better than Hamid and Johnson.

    Nice win for RBNY.

  2. Hopper says:

    Good thing Arena kept Becks and Keane out of Seattle. They were nice and rested for a loss at home.

  3. Hopper says:

    1. They slept through the whole game.
    2. Lindpere.
    3. Meara

  4. Free Speech Liberation Front says:

    FREE SIMON BORG!!!

  5. Sabella says:

    Great win for the Red Bulls. This is a huge confidence builder. Meara looked extremely competent tonight. , I’m very happy for Lindpere who IMO, should be wearing the captain’s band during Henry’s absence.

  6. marco says:

    Kasey Keller, who did color during the Sounders / Galaxy game, was besides himself that Arena left Keane and Beckham back home in LA. Bravely, he went over the Galaxy/ Arena press releases, along with other media/pundits spin, rest, travel, turf etc. and concluded that this early in the season there was no good soccer reason to do this. I agree and applaud him.

  7. Polo says:

    If we’re looking at recent form, Landon Donovan should not wait up for a phone call from Klinsman. What the hell happened to that guy?

    Break out the milk cartons.

  8. Starks says:

    Great win by RBNY…Meara looked very sharp and under control throughout the whole game, lets hope this is a sign to come from him as he gets more experience. The galaxy controlled most of the game but if you cant finish, you are not going to win. Kudos to Redbull for the win even with 5 starters down however, in my opinion Lade is much better then Roy Miller even if he is half the size and barcklage is doing a dang fine job in the middle.

    By the way, great game by DJ Solli, really solid distribution, great runs, great dribble, nist assist to Lindpere…overall a very satisfying win as a RBNY fan.

  9. Marlon says:

    Lade had a decent game, but he is not better than Miller.

  10. Ricky B. Stupid says:

    I didn’t know Patchwork had a team, was this for the Open Cup?

  11. dgoshilla says:

    I saw Keane shopping at H&M on Friday. Lots of rest he was getting…

  12. eddie says:

    I doubt very seriously it would have made much difference. LA sucks big time and their million dollar men would not have made much difference. LA is all media hype at this point in the growth of the MLS league.

    The clock has ticked and the time has come for technical talent to come from the MLS youth development academy and overseas youth. LA will continue in it’s misery.

  13. Stu says:

    I’m glad to see Meara coming into his own… finally putting someone solid in goal is a much needed boost. I think Lade has been looking sharp and really has some promise. We need to remember that he’s only had a few games at this level so he still needs some time. Perhaps if Backe had let some of the rookies play over the years, we wouldn’t have found ourselves running out of depth late in the season. Overall, I think the loss of the “big guys” has given us a chance to play like a team with some passion.

  14. Starks says:

    Disagree 100 percent. Lade is better with distribution and judging the attacking play. Like isaid the only thing miller has over lade is size. Miller is horrendous.

  15. Eugene says:

    Have to agree that I’d prefer Lade starting. Miller has the skills, but he is good for falling asleep at least a few times a game, and his passes are often meaningless. Lade has better vision for space (and an assist to show for it), and a much better shot from distance.

  16. bryan says:

    as a DC and LA fan, this result was terrible for me.

  17. GSScasual says:

    Never could understand how someone could be a fan of 2 teams..

  18. MemRook says:

    Maybe he doesn’t live near an MLS team. I haven’t lived near one my whole life but have been a huge MLS fan since its beginning. Rather than a specific team, I tend to follow and root for story lines and players’ career paths (a la Dempsey with revolution or now the young guns on the nats) etc. It’s hard for American soccer fans who don’t live near MLS franchises. At least Bryan is interested and following OUR domestic league and not a eurosnob or whatever popular Internet tag we’re throwing around these days.

  19. gas huffer says:

    Eh, he’s not really needed, is he?

  20. gas huffer says:

    One word: Turf.

    Get rid of the Field Turf©, and the Million Dollar Players© will preform anywhere. No reason to play on plastic. Seriouxly.

  21. Lassidawg says:

    Except the fact the signed a contract in a league that plays on plastic, they are pros they can handle it. It is so bad the best playmaker in the league (Rosales) has missed games because of it, oh wait that is because he is constantly hacked to the ground.

  22. Clark says:

    100% agree.. I am absolutely mortified every time we have to go play beach ball up in Seattle, Vancouver and New England. Their turf is atrocious, the game suffers in quality and players that have joint issues shouldn’t play because the rebound in the turf places unnatural pressure on the joint causing potential cartilage and ligament damage.

    I will give props to Portland, their turf is very nice, you can tell its a quality above that of the aforementioned teams. They have made the best of a bad situation. I look forward to the day when we don’t have any plastic in the league

  23. Anthony says:

    Why Porter didn’t call Meara in the net instead of Hamid for the Olympic qualifying games? I wouldn’t be surprise if klisman keeps Donovan on the bench for the upcoming games. Right now nobody can make an argument that he is better than Dempsey.And What happens to Buddle the greatest goal scorer in MLS.

  24. primoone says:

    Bye Bye Bruce…

  25. marco says:

    Are there other MLS players exempt from playing on turf? Full disclosure would help the MLS.

  26. marco says:

    lassidawg, “Except the fact the signed a contract in a league that plays on plastic,”
    But does Beckham have a pocket veto in his contract?

  27. shweazy says:

    Ryan is having a good run of games in his first year, Hamid is a great goalie that started in MLS a whole season already.. more eperienced and is tested. Meara will get his chance but a good run of form is not assuring he will perform well on the nats .