It would appear that Ryan Meara's rise from unheralded college goalkeeper to New York Red Bulls starter is just the beginning of his whirlwind year.
According to the Irish Independent, Meara has declared his intent to play for Ireland and he will be called into the country's Under-21 national team later this month.
(UPDATE: According to MLSSoccer.com, the Red Bulls have denied Ireland's request for Meara, and he will remain with the club during the international break for World Cup qualifiers. New York was not required to release Meara for the youth competition.)
"We've been following him for a couple of months and then when he started their season as No. 1, that was a big statement," Ireland Under-21 coach Noel King said. "He's a big lad with good hands, and he's a strong kicker."
According to the Independent, the 21-year-old Meara, who was born in the United States but reportedly qualifies for Ireland through his grandparents, would join the Ireland U-21s at the end of the month for a friendly against Denmark and a 2013 U-21 European championship qualifier against Italy on June 4. He is coming off a strong performance over the weekend, making five saves to secure his first clean sheet in a 1-0 victory over New England.
The Red Bulls are not obligated to release Meara for the Ireland camp, but they won't have any games during the stretch in which he would be called upon by King.
What do you think of this developement? Do you think the Red Bulls will/should release Meara for the camp?
Share your thoughts below.