Meara's desire to play for Ireland rejected
May 2, 2012
When asked about Ryan Meara's call-up to the Irish Under-21 national team, "Clever" Hans Backe had a simple response.
And just like that, in a span of 24 hours, what looked to be a surprising development, quashed.
Meara, of course, is American-born and raised. He qualifies for Ireland through his grandparents. "Ryan has made contact and wants to play for us," Irish U-21 coach Noel King told the Irish Sun. "We were made aware of his eligibility and we spoke to him and his club. He is keen to give it a go. He was already an Irish citizen and it was just a matter of getting his passport which he has now."
Apparently, he talked to the wrong people at the club. Hours after the report came out, Meara's international debut was rejected. "I just told him we will turn it down," Backe expounded to BigAppleSoccer. "He wants to play; I don't want [it], so that's why."
Backe, of course, is notoriously against national team call-ups, banishing Meara predecessor Bouna Coundoul after he missed time with the Senegal national team during the 2011 preseason. And even though Meara would not miss any regular season games, the Irish call-up coming in the schedule gap in late May/early June, Backe would have none of it.
If Meara does end up playing for Ireland, he wouldn't be the first American-born Metro to suit for a foreign country. Who can forget Craig Ziadie's foray for Jamaica or Jerrod Laventure's turnout for Haiti?