NEC’s Presence in the Pros: Former Monmouth Star Seizes Opportunity in Seattle

He was born in Summit and spent four years playing collegiately at the Jersey Shore, but Bryan Meredith’s big break came 2,400 miles west of the Jersey Shore.

It started out as an ordinary night for the backup keeper on May 2 in the Pacific Northwest. He was on the bench as the Seattle Sounders hosted the LA Galaxy in a regular season MLS match.

The Sounders, who had not beaten the Galaxy since 2009, found themselves holding a 1-0 lead, but facing a bit of adversity at halftime.  While keeping LA off the scoreboard over the first 45 minutes, starting goalkeeper Michael Gpsurning managed to re-aggravate a hip injury and would be unavailable for the second half.

Forced to go to his bench, head coach Sigi Schmid sent Bryan Meredith, a two-time all-NEC selection while at Monmouth, out onto the pitch.

Fewer than three minutes into the second half, Seattle striker Fredy Montero showed Meredith the type of support every goalkeeper loves by connecting on a 35-yard scoring strike that doubled the Sounders’ lead.

LA controlled possession for much of the second half, but their attempts on Meredith were few and far between.

When US National Team captain Landon Donovan fired a shot on goal in the 62nd minute, the Galaxy’s lone shot of the second half, the 2011 NEC Tournament MVP was there to turn it aside.

With Meredith producing a clean sheet in 45 minutes of work, Seattle held on for a 2-0 win.

In a post-match interview, Schmid took time to laud his backup keeper.

“It’s tremendous for Bryan Meredith to come in and keep a clean sheet for 45 minutes. I think he showed what I said last week, in that I think there are a lot of teams in this league he can be starting for. He’s a quality goalkeeper and we have a lot of faith in him.”

Read the entire Seattle-LA match story

Atroxweltsxntsi_20111019182950

Watch Postgame Comments from Bryan Meredith following his MLS debut on May 2, 2012

Only two days after Meredith’s MLS debut, it became apparent that the former Monmouth Hawk would be back in net for Seattle’s next contest against the Philadelphia Union.  On May 4, the Seattle Sounders Official Blog, “Rave Green,” reported that the hip injury was going to keep Gspurning out for two to three weeks.

As the blog reported, Schmid did not seem the least bit worried about the injury news because of his faith in Meredith.

“He’s gone through it – he came on and played a half against the Galaxy and he played against Monterrey, who is the CCL champions and he had a good game against them. We’re confident in him.” – Read full blog post

Thus far, Meredith has done nothing to shake, and everything to boost, his coach’s confidence in him. 

On May 5, Meredith and the Sounders posted a 1-0 victory over Philadelphia.

Then, on May 9, Meredith notched his second shutout in as many starts as Seattle defeated FC Dallas, 2-0, on the road.

Meredith, who has kept a clean sheet intact throughout five halves of soccer, is set to make his third start when Seattle returns home to face Real Salt Lake on Saturday, May 12.

The Sounders, who are 7-1-1 overall, are riding a five-match win streak and will have one of the winningest keepers in NEC history in net as they try to extend it.

No stranger to success, Meredith compiled a 44-7-10 record while at Monmouth.  Meredith, who earned 36 of those 44 victories via shutout, helped the Hawks capture four consecutive NEC regular season title along with two tournament crowns.

During his senior season at Monmouth, the Hawks’ captain led the NEC in goals against average (0.70), save percentage (.842) and shutouts (11).

Collegiate success doesn’t always translate into achievement at the professional level, but Meredith is making it happen.

He won in New Jersey and now he’s doing it on short notice in Seattle.

The competition may be tougher and his new home is nearly a whole continent away from the Jersey Shore, but the results have been the same for Bryan Meredith.

Related Stories
Monmouth’s Meredith getting chance in MLS nets at age of 22Asbury Park Press (Steve Edelson)

Gspurning may miss 2-3 weeksRave Green (Seattle Sounders Blog)

Former Seahawk Flying High in Jacksonville
Moving from one version of pro football to the other, Overtime! would like to bring attention to a feature piece that recently ran on the Jacksonville Jaguars’ official website.  Former Wagner defensive back Jeremiah Brown is the subject of the story entitled “A Reason to Believe” by Jaguars.com senior writer John Oehser.  Even if you dislike football and have no attachment to Wagner, or the Northeast Conference, you should still read this one.  If you are like us, you’ll be left with a rather warm and fuzzy feeling after consuming the suggested prose.  Enjoy! Click here to read “A Reason to Believe.”

Video Vault
Highlights and Interviews from Meredith’s 1-0 shutout win in the 2010 NEC Championship Match…

 

– May 11, 2012 –

 

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s