Bryan Meredith, Sounders Backup Keeper, Is Having Success as a Starter
When Michael Gspurning went down with a hip injury, backup keeper Andrew Weber couldn’t become the regular starter because of a wrist injury. Weber’s backup, Josh Ford, couldn’t either because of an ACL tear. This left the Seattle Sounders with a 23-year-old who hadn’t played a regular season MLS match in his life: Bryan Meredith.
Bryan Meredith was born in Scotch Plains, New Jersey, on August 2, 1989. He attended Monmouth University in his home state, where he served as captain and starting keeper of his team.
His success as a Monmouth Hawk earned him various awards in the NSCAA, including being named to the 2008 NSCAA/Adidas North Atlantic Region First Team. During his time in college, Meredith played briefly for the Central Jersey Spartans of the USL Premier Development League.
In early 2011 Meredith was selected by the Sounders in the second round of the MLS Superdraft. After a trial with the Sounders, he was released after Josh Ford earned the third goalkeeping position. Meredith returned to the USL’s development league where he played with the Kitsap Pumas of Bremerton, Washington.
After fourteen appearances with the Pumas, the Sounders signed Meredith in September of 2011 to replace backup keeper Terry Boss, who had just suffered a series of season-ending concussions. Meredith’s improvements through his time with Kitsap resulted in a promotion, and Meredith made his competitive debut in an October match in the CONCACAF Champions League Cup.
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Meredith played in three more matches before returning to the third goalkeeping spot. His work ethic and improved skill had left a mark on head coach Sigi Schmid and goalkeeper coach Tom Dutra. He was retained for the 2012 MLS season.
During the offseason Boss retired from injuries, and starting keeper Kasey Keller retired after two decades of professional soccer playing—three years of which were with the Sounders. Seattle brought in Michael Gspurning, the thirty-year-old former Austrian national team keeper. After just six matches into the season, Gspurning injured his hip, forcing Meredith to take the hardest job on the soccer field.
Through three matches this year, Meredith has played very well. He has a record seven saves in 225 minutes, while giving up just one goal. He has also recorded two shutouts; a pretty impressive feat for a 23-year-old rookie.
Meredith will continue to be the Sounders' starting keeper until Gspurning is healthy. There is currently no timetable for his return.
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