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Rookies take center stage
by Paul Kennedy, May 8th, 2012 1:02AM

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TAGS:  chicago fire, mls, new york red bulls

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[MLS ROOKIES WATCH] Rookies again played big roles in MLS this past weekend. Days after the New York Red Bulls nixed his call-up to the Irish under-21 national team, Ryan Meara picked up his second straight shutout on the road as the Red Bulls won, 1-0, at the Los Angeles Galaxy. Defender Austin Berry celebrated his MLS debut with the Chicago Fire's tying goal in its 2-1 win at Chivas USA. He became the seventh rookie to score this season. Also making his MLS debut in a winning effort was Englishman Andy Rose in the Seattle Sounders' 1-0 win over the Philadelphia Union. For how all MLS's rookies are doing ...

Meara showed why the Red Bulls can't afford to be without him as he preserved the shutout win over the Galaxy with a late save on a shot by Juninho (see below).

"It was moving and I was lucky to get a big enough piece of it to put it over," Meara said of Juninho's effort from distance.

Meara's play has been all the more significant because the Red Bulls have been starting a makeshift backline featuring three first-year MLS players, homegrown signing Connor Lade out of St. John's, NASL product Tyler Ruthven, son of former MLB pitcher Dick Ruthven, and Swede Markus Holgersson.



Until Friday night, Berry was limited to the role of pitchman for new Fire sponsor Quaker Oats, but he got his chance to play alongside German international Arne Friedrich when Jalil Anibaba was suspended.

Berry gave away the penalty that led to Chivas USA's goal scored by Juan Pablo Angel, but he made up for it two minutes later when he volleyed a one-time effort inside the left post.

The former Louisville star is only the third rookie in Fire history and first since 1998 to score in his MLS debut. Both Ritchie Kotschau and Josh Wolff scored in their rookie debuts during the club’s inaugural 1998 campaign.

Rose was taken by Real Salt Lake out of UCLA in the MLS Supplemental Draft and promptly dealt to the Sounders. While at UCLA, the Bruins captain dated former U.S. national team coach Bob Bradley's daughter.

MIN. PLAYER (CLUB)
810 Ryan Meara (New York), 1.55 GAA, 2 shutouts
766 Tony Cascio (Colorado), 2 goals, 1 assist
703 Nick DeLeon (D.C. United), 3 goals, 2 assists
599 Kelyn Rowe (New England), 1 goal
453 Kirk Urso (Columbus), 1 assist
401 Luis Silva (Toronto FC)
352 Raymon Gaddis (Philadelphia)
341 Sebastian Velasquez (Real Salt Lake)
339 Tommy Meyer (Los Angeles)
336 Andrew Jean-Baptiste (Portland), 1 goal
314 Ethan Finlay (Columbus)
301 Connor Lade
(New York), 1 assist
274 Casey Townsend (Chivas USA), 1 goal
194 Aaron Schoenfeld (Columbus), 1 assist
120 Andrew Wenger (Montreal), 1 goal
90 Austin Berry (Chicago), 1 goal
90 Bryan Gaul (Los Angeles)
61 Andy Rose (Seattle)
51 Chandler Hoffman (Philadelphia)
30 Tyler Polak (New England)
28 Alec Purdie  (New England)
26 Christian Hernandez (Philadelphia)
22 Hunter Jumper (Chicago)
22 Jonathan Top (FC Dallas)
11 Junior Burgos (Toronto FC)
8 Sam Garza (San Jose)
1 Antoine Hoppenot (Philadelphia)
1 Darren Mattocks



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