MICHAEL HADLEY - Sunday, December 23, 2012
Former Seattle Sounders FC goalkeeper Bryan Meredith has signed a free agent deal with IK Brage in the Swedish Superettan.
The 23 year old signed his first international contract just one week after his extension option was declined by Seattle.
"My agent (Remy Cherin) came to me and said there's a team offering me a contract," Meredith told YA. "It turns out their sports director had seen me play against New York (Red Bulls) this past year."
Meredith played in 12 games with Seattle in Major League Soccer over the 2012 season after being signed late in 2011 from the Premier Development League (PDL) Kitsap Pumas. He was originally drafted in January of 2011 by SSFC but released after being beaten out for the third goalkeeper position.
The youngster is especially excited about bringing his American style to soccer lovers around the world.
"I knew it was always an option (to play in Europe), not necessarily a goal of mine," he mentioned. "Different people get to see me, and it's obviously a much bigger market in Europe."
IK Brage's Domnarvsvalen facility holds just over ten per cent of the seats of Century Link Field in Seattle, but Meredith doesn't see the drastic change in venue as a bad thing.
"Any time you have good games it really helps," Meredith said of the atmosphere in Seattle, "but I don't think the change will effect anything because there won't be as much pressure on me playing. You're able to play a little bit more free."
Brage currently have a veteran goalkeeper in 35 year old Gerhard Andersson, but due to health concerns the Swede is unable to play consistently. Meredith will arrive in mid-January to compete for the back-up role along side Patrick Carlgren.
"We are very excited to present a very promising goalkeeper competitor (to) Patrick Carlgren," sports director Michael Cold Brook said in a translated statement on Brage's official website. "It seems ... that the two will be a good team that can encourage and develop each other during the season."
Despite the looming competition, Meredith is confident in his abilities.
"Hopefully I can play well when I get the opportunity and win the starting spot," he added.
The length and terms of Meredith's contract are currently being withheld.