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Discussion in 'USA Men: News & Analysis' started by cmhatter, May 1, 2012.
Disappointing that he has accepted.
No big loss, we have about 50 goalkeepers who are ahead of him in the pecking order. Meara is no Van Der Saar, Buffon or Casillias.
but we don't know what he will amount to just yet
I'll eat my shoe if Meara ends up better than Howard or Guzan in the next ten years. This kid has 8 starts to his name. Here's a list of better American goalkeepers in MLS only:
And if we really get desperate, we can always call up Brad Friedel.
If your going to make a big issue over the 8 games he has started, you might as well take off Bingham and Willis. He has them beat.
Projecting out 10 years, a lot of the other names will be retired.
And Josh Sanders is cap tied to Puerto Rico.
And Robles and Westberg? Really? Westberg should never be mentioned in the US mens forum unless in jest.
First: this would still leave him open to the one-time switch (like Bunbury or Castillo).
Also: The RBNY have not let him go
Hard to blame the kid. GK is harder to break in, especially at our deepest position historically. Plus once in, they are hard to dislodge.
He can still do the one time if needed I think.
[ame="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rd6rUo7Htso"]Werner Herzog Eats His Shoe - YouTube[/ame]
Just in case you need some tips on eating your shoe.
But this is what it comes down to, as has been pointed out is that your list is silly. The vast majority of your list will be out of the game in 5 years. Some will not live up to potential. And some on your list are simply not good enough (see westberg and cervi). Though at least westberg has played recently. Of your list Hamid, Johnson, McMath, and Meara are all about the same age and lets be honest none of them are lighting the world on fire. And correct me if I am wrong but didnt Hamid just lose his starting spot? The other think you are not taking into account in all but very rare cases most keepers are not worth talking about until they are about 28 or so. And to right anyone off at his age at keeper is silly. He has all the tools to be a good keeper. He just lacks experience. Which he is getting now.
Puerto Rico is part of the USA so how is he cap tied? Thats like saying I an cap tied to Alaska.
Puerto Rico has their own football association recognized by FIFA that's why. Puerto Rico in all international competitions (Olympics, FIBA) competes as a separate entity from the US.
Update. RBNY were not obligated to release Meara and as such they have denied Ireland's request.
We don't know yet.
The question is not whether Meara is better than Rimando, etc. Its whether he will be better than Hamid, Johnson, Perk, MacMath.
I think Meara has played very well for a first year pro. I think he'll get better too.
I'm excited at the prospect of him playing for Ireland.
Meara, to me, looks like he has the tools to be a good goalkeeper. He makes big saves and is fundamentally sound, though he could distribute the ball short sometimes. He just needs to continue to get experience.
As much as I like Hamid, his habit of making odd dives instead of being fundamentally good is troubling. Not writing Hamid off, but just saying Meara shouldn't be easily tossed aside either.
I've noticed that too with Hamid. A keeper coach really needs to grind the fundamentals into him. He has all the tools to be a great keeper, in my opinion, but he makes odd decisions when dominating his box or making saves. Once he relies on the basic tools of the position and has a couple of seasons more of experience, he could rank up there with Howard and Keller.
Meara has done well this season too, and I hope he isn't choosing Ireland because he doesn't think he'll get a good shot with the USMNT. I think he could have a really good career with the tools he has shown and the experience he is getting. Watching him this past weekend I was wondering to myself if he might push the rest of the young keeper pack to really fight for the #1 (or #18) shirt for the USMNT. I think he can, but if he goes to Ireland, it could be our loss.
The bigger issue here is how could someone of Meara's ability not even be on the U-xx radar? How many others are out there with the potential to be usmnt senior players some day, but are not on the U-xx radar?
It's pretty easy. He was the goalkeeper at FORDHAM. In the Bronx. Not exactly a soccer power. How many colleges passed on him? He was a second round draft pick. All MLS teams passed on him. Look, there are a lot of good, young goalkeepers with potential out there. I have no problem saying Hamid and Johnson are better potential talents than him at this point. Will they develop in five years to be better? Don't know.
Fordham is Division 1. Not a soccer power, but it is Division 1. Not many colleges have Division 1 men's soccer.
Meara was invited to the MLS pre-draft scrimmages. He performed well.
Not every MLS team passed on him - RB picked him with their first pick, which was in the second round.
Not saying he is better than his contemporaries at GK, but he is competitive with them. Only time will tell who will be the best, and who will be nat team caliber.
I just find it astonishing that he was never ever contacted by ussf. Even for a camp. Reminds me a little of the Sharlie Joseph situation. But Sharlie did not have USA citizenship. ussf has to tighten its net otherwise some good fish are going to get through.
I have some question marks on his distribution and hands, but ditto his fundamental soundness mentioned above, and I think he's an excellent shot-stopper. I don't think that his generation of goalkeeper is necessarily as deep as some would think. Basically we're talking about Hamid, Johnson and Macmath. Taking Meara away from that pool is taking a lot.
If you want to only consider goalkeepers who are 30 or under, Meara is still far behind the pecking order. I'll assume that most goalkeepers can play at a high level until age 38 - which makes all of these keepers eligible for 2014 and 2018 world cups, at which point the 30 year olds will only be 36. The situation in 2022 is anybody's guess - if Meara is playing for a super club, we can talk then.
Brad Guzan (27)
Will Hesmer (30)
Matt Pickens (30)
David Yelldell (30)
Luis Robles (27)
Troy Perkins (30)
Quentin Westberg (26)
Tally Hall (26)
Dan Kennedy (29)
Zac MacMath (20)
Bill Hamid (21)
Sean Johnson (22)
Dominic Cervi (25)
Chris Seitz (25)
Joe Willis (23)
Steve Clark (26)
Caleb Patterson-Sewell (24)
David Bingham (22)
Brian Perk (22)
Joseph Bendik (23)
Meara is not clearly more talented than anybody on this list. He's maybe in the middle of the pack.
Congrats you missed the whole point of what I was saying. MacMath, Hamid, Johnson, Willis, Perk, Bendik, and Meara are all in 3 years of each other. They aslo are very very young for keepers. Most do not even start to peak until 28 to 30. And most of them have a year in the league. Trying to predict how any of these guys are going to mature is silly.
The you have have guys on here thay you are saying are better with little to back it up. so lets take a look at them.
Cervi - has played a combined 9 games since 2007. That is an average of 1.3 games a season.
Patterson-Sewell - was I believe (though I might be wrong about it) a pool keeper when he ended up with RBNY who he never played a game for during which he also bounced around USL before and after. Though he is playing in the second division in Portugal now. So I am guessing we can do better there. But again he is young so who knows he did have work permit issues in the past. But he also grew up in Australia. So who says he would even play for the US?
Westberg sits on the bench in France. Though I have never seen him play so I have no opinion of him and he is young.
Tally Hall I think is better than most give him credit for.
Dan Kennedy is a nice guy-I went to UCSB with him- But I think he has found his level. Also he sucks at beer pong.
Troy Perkins - Is this generations Thorton/Sommer good but not good enough to break into the MNT consistantly. I am guessing his time has passed.
Pickens- His time has passed. And as far as I remember has never played for the MNT
Will Hesmer Has found his level. Will most likely never wear the US shirt.
Chris Sietz - was all potential most of which he just has not lived up to. It happens, he seems a long shot.
Luis Robles - is a sometimes starter for a team that is getting relegated to the bundesliga 3rd division.
David Yelldell - I honestly do not know a lot about. I know he bounced around the German regional and lower level leagues. Though is now a backup (3rd?) at Leverkusen.
Steve Clark - I know little about other than he is the backup at a team in Norway.
21 to 23 age group.
Joseph Bendik - backup at Portland, had a few appearances in Norway as a backup. YNT not a good indicator of future success
David Bingham- played for Cal. Backup at SJ. 1 appearance last year. Seems to be talented. Known mostly for scoring against west brom. in a friendly
Brian Perk - 3rd keeper at LA. Has one appearance and is in his 3rd year in the league. Played for U20 YNT
Joe Willis - Sometimes starter for DCU (current starter) total of 11 games.
Zac MacMath - Inconsistent at the moment. But has the tools. Starts for the Union, 15 games total.
Sean Johnson - Has the tools and size. I wonder a little bit about his hands at times. But is a good shot stopper. Has a good future ahead of him. 44 games total
Bill Hamid - has the tools and size. Needs to work on positioning fundamentals as he makes some strange decisions. Has a good future ahead of him. 36 games total.
Meara. - Has the tools and size. Like Hamid needs a little positional work but overall I think he is better than Hamid in decision making. Needs more experience. 9 games total.
So the point remains, he is young and it does not matter if he is better than many of the people on the list right now. He as a played a total of 9 games as a pro,( which oddly enough is the same number cervi has played. And Meara did it in a single season.) He needs to be given time to mature and get experience. He is smart and has all the tools. But as you said if he is mid tier after 9 games where is he going to be after 2 or 3 years as a starter?
Look I do not have a crystal ball, and I cannot tell you if he is going to pan out or not. But then again neither can you. So why dont we give him a chance before we write him off.
I'm not writing Meara off, I hope he has a brilliant future. But my original point is that his decision to play for Ireland will have no effect on the overall USMNT performance in any future World Cups.
I think it's pretty ridiculous that you are writing these guys off just b/c they are 29-30 years old. We may have grown used to having stud young keepers like Timmeh, Friedel, Meola, and Keller, but we won't always have an embarrassment of young keeper riches. Keepers tend to have pretty long development trajectories... see Jens Lehmann... he didn't get his first Germany cap until he was 28/29 years old.
I don't see why people are fawning over him so much; Meara is not a blue-chip young stud like Timmeh/Friedel/Meola/Keller was when they were 20-23 years old. Those guys were winning Herman trophies, leading their teams to the college cup, and winning MLS keeper of the year awards at Meara's age. What has Meara done? He didn't even make 3rd team all-american in his college career ever. He put up some pretty numbers in a weak soccer conference (the A-10 is only ~ 10th strongest conference in my opinion). I'm not writing him off but let's wait and see if he can show some sustained success at the pro level before hyping for a call-up on USMNT forums. He's had one freaking good game so far. A lot of those keepers you just wrote off above are light years ahead of Meara in the pool keeper rankings, both right now and for the foreseeable future.
I am not writing them off do to age. And I am merely adding levity. The reality is that sure there are exceptions and as I have said keepers do not reach their peak until 28-30. But the reality is that none of of the 4 you quoted are going to have a large impact on the National team due more so to ability. Would you want any of them starting an important game? Maybe Kennedy gets a few caps but he is down the depth chart. But of the 4 your have singled out only one has national team caps and that is Perkins with a whooping 7. Which is why I called him this generations Jurgen Sommer/Zach Thorton. Both were good keepers in the 90s beginning of the 00s. But the last 25 years have been dominated by 4 keepers. In fact Keller, Friedel, and Meola account for close to 340 games. And then you look at the last decade, you have Perkins with 7, Rimando with 6 (both are in the same category in my mind as good depth guys) Hahnemann has 9 but is 39 so realistically he is done. Guzan leads the pack of people not named howard with 19. And Howard has 74.
Realistically we get '14 out of howard and he is done and has said as much. So our depth chart at keeper looks something like this at the moment
then it is a rabble of
and everyone else on that list.
The elephant in the room is that we are not as dominant at keeper as we once were. So it makes sense to start getting young guys into the system as they are going to have the biggest impact. As going forward our current crop of 28-32 year old keepers are not lighting the world on fire. My point being its not that Meara is suddenly the savior of the MNT and I have never said as much. It is just that he is showing signs of possibly being as good as those we have and better then some we have. So the idea that its ok to just say welp let him go to Ireland its fine, is not ok. We have a mounting problem at keeper that is quickly coming to a head. And even as it stands now there is a big drop off from Howard to Guzan...
Yup. We're set thru WC14 with Howard and Guzan. Guzan is garnering a lot of interest in England right now, and will undoubtedly move to be a starter at a pretty big club. He's gonna be a quality backup to Howard this cycle.
When the 2018 cycle comes around, one or two of the options you guys are discussing will have taken the "next step." And, of course, Guzan may claim the 2018 cycle starting slot. We'll see about that.
This is kind of "much ado about nothing." Sure..........we'd like as big of a pool of keepers to draw from as possible. Nobody would disagree with that. However, Meara isn't so good that we should go into a panic spiral that he's interested in playing for Ireland. George John was interested in playing for Greece. It behooves these types of players to investigate all of their options. Meara can't play for US youth teams anymore, and he's unlikely to get playing time with the USMNT in the near future. So if Ireland is going to come calling, why wouldn't he investigate it?