NEC In the Pros UPDATE: Monmouth’s Meredith Makes NJ Homecoming; Albany’s Barksdale in ‘Command’ out in KC

He grew up here and went on to enjoy a marvelous collegiate career at Monmouth. 

Finally, Bryan Meredith was back home in the Garden State on Sunday.

His Seattle Sounders FC were at Red Bull Arena looking to improve upon their 8-5-6 MLS record on a pitch a mere 18 miles from Meredith’s hometown of Scotch Plains, NJ.

Meredith, who has been Seattle’s primary keeper since starter Michael Gspurning sustained an injury midway through a May 2 match, has started all four of the team’s matches in July.

He is unbeaten in the four-match span that includes Sunday’s 2-2 draw with the New York Red Bulls.

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Fan’s Perspective
Overtime!
was able to catch up with a few soccer fans who were in attendance for Meredith’s homecoming at Red Bull Arena.

Monmouth alumnus, and avid MLS fan, Matt Colson may have been wearing a Red Bulls jersey, but admitted he was rooting for his fellow Hawk internally.

“I’m a huge Red Bulls fan, so I wanted to see them win, but it was a Catch 22 because I didn’t want to see them beat Meredith.”

Colson, who may have gotten the best of both worlds with the 2-2 draw, seemed impressed with Meredith’s play.

“I’m no expert, but he looked good out there,” said Colson. “The first goal he gave up came off a rebound and he really had no shot at it.”

Colson, who does not have a Twitter handle but does “Like” the Northeast Conference on Facebook, has been following Meredith’s career since the New Jersey-born goalkeeper was drafted 29th overall in the MLS Superdraft.

“It’s always great to see local guys from small schools succeed, especially when they’re from your school.”

More on Meredith
The Monmouth alumnus owns a 2-0-2 record in the month of July, a stretch that includes a shutout in a scoreless draw at Real Salt Lake. … Prior to his trip to Red Bull Arena, Meredith was in goal for a 4-1 win over Chivas USA in the semifinal round of the US Open Cup on July 11.  He has earned the victory in three of the Sounders’ four US Open Cup contests. … Overall this season, Meredith has played in 11 matches and has earned 10 decisions.  He owns a 3-3-4 record that includes a trip of shutouts. … Meredith was a two-time all-NEC keeper at Monmouth.

Related Stories
Meredith making most of opportunityAsbury Park Press (Steve Edelson)

Monetro lifts Sounders to draw – MLSsoccer.com (Matt Gaschk)

 

Monmouth Hawks at the Next Level
Bryan Meredith isn’t the only current professional athlete to have called Monmouth home. One day before Meredith took to the pitch at Red Bull Arena, 2012 All-NEC First Team pitcher Pat Light toed the rubber for the Lowell Spinners in his second career outing.  Light surrendered one run during the scheduled 2-inning start against the Staten Island Yankees. Although he gave up four hits, the Spinners’ coaching staff had to like the fact that he walked none and struck out three. … Former Hawks’ hurler Brad Brach, who like Meredith and Light is a New Jersey product, last pitched in the Padres’ wild 7-6 win over the Dodgers on July 14.  Brach struck out two in his 1.0 inning of work out of the bullpen, but did not escape unscathed. After retiring the first two batters to face him, he surrendered a single to All-Star Matt Kemp before watching Andre Either blast a two-run homer.   It was the first time in his last six outing that Brach gave up a run.

NEC Gridiron Gab
With football season getting close enough to taste, it is only right for Overtime! to update its loyal readers on NEC football alumnus Rashad Barksdale.  The former UAlbany defensive back, who was taken in the 6th Round of the 2007 NFL Draft by the Chiefs, is currently one of the best cover men in the entire Arena Football League. Playing for the Kansas City Command, Barksdale put forth a marvelous individual effort on July 14. In a 49-48 setback to the Spokane Shock, the former Great Dane made 14 solo tackles and broke up three passes.  In 15 games played this season, Barksdale has made a team-leading 109 tackles, two interceptions, and 10 PBUs. He’s also returned 24 kickoffs. Click Here for KC Command Stats

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Barksdale’s old college team, UAlbany will find out its preseason poll standing on August 2 when the NEC hosts its annual media teleconference to preview the 2012 season.  The Great Danes shared the 2011 NEC crown with Duquesne and earned the league’s automatic bid to the NCAA FCS playoffs where they absorbed a last-second loss to Stony Brook.

 

Notable News Clippings
GB Takes Series from Portugal (LIU alumnus Kyle Johnson scores 21) – GBbasketball.com

A Dutch treat — Meil goes from Wagner to HollandStaten Island Advance (Cormac Gordon)

 

– July 16, 2012 –

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