Bryan Meredith was happy with his summer.
He’d been drafted by the Sounders FC and, while he didn’t make the final roster, he laid the groundwork for future opportunities to play with the club, or another in MLS, with a solid summer of training complemented by a season in the Premier Development League with the Kitsap Pumas.
He went on to win the PDL championship with the Pumas and, once the trophy had been raised, had the chance to go back to Monmouth University in his native New Jersey to finish his Communication degree.
“It was a one-of-a-kind summer, for sure. It was a blessing, I think, to be able to train with the Sounders a couple days a week and be able to play with the Pumas,” Meredith said. “To be able to win a national championship at any level doesn’t happen every day, so it was an exciting, fulfilling summer.”
Then, he got a phone call after his first week of class that lifted the summer to a whole new level.
The Sounders FC was on the other end of the phone, asking the 22-year-old goalkeeper to come back to Seattle to sign with the club through the end of the year. Backup goalkeeper Terry Boss suffered a concussion, his second of the year, while playing with the Puerto Rico national team in 2014 World Cup qualifying and the team preferred to bring in a keeper they were familiar with than bringing in an MLS pool goalkeeper.
For Meredith, it was like draft day all over again. The only difference was that he didn’t have a room packed with friends and family like he did the day he was selected with the 29th overall pick in the 2011 MLS SuperDraft.
“When I got the final phone call and they told me they were going to bring me back, it made me feel like all the hard work I put in over the summer playing with the Pumas and here as well paid off,” he said.
Staying to finish his degree wasn’t even an option. Meredith will continue work in some courses through independent study while he is in Seattle and advance towards his degree until he is able to complete all of his courses.
“I had been back at school for about a week, but it’s been my dream to play professional soccer since I was eight years old, so it wasn’t really much of a decision,” he said.
Although it was a tough pill to swallow initially when he was cut by the Sounders, he greatly valued his time with the Kitsap Pumas. Not only did he help the team to the national championship, but they also had a good run in the US Open Cup until they fell 2-1 to the Sounders FC.
“It was tremendous. Being able to get games is always important. I didn’t know what the level would be, but we were a great team and we played against a lot of great teams. It was a good experience to get games and keep developing,” he said. “Guys make a lot of sacrifices to play out here. Seeing what they gave up, I didn’t want to do them a disservice by treating it as though I was above it. No matter where I played, I was going to give it 100% to keep moving up the ladder.”