Nashville SC

Bryan Meredith signs with Nashville SC

Bryan Meredith photo courtesy Major League Soccer.

Nashville SC is in need of a third keeper – at least until Costal Carolina’s Tor Saunders joins after the NCAA Tournament in May – and now, the Boys in Gold have their man. It’s Bryan Meredith. From Club release:

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (Feb. 24, 2021) – Nashville Soccer Club announced today the acquisition of 31-year-old veteran goalkeeper Bryan Meredith via free agency for the 2021 season with an option for the 2022 campaign. Meredith joins a Nashville goalkeeper core that includes Major League Soccer reigning shutout leader Joe Willis and 2020 SuperDraft selection Elliot Panicco.

“Bryan has been an outstanding teammate wherever he’s been, and we know that he’ll add to the depth of our goalkeeping corps here, said Nashville SC General Manager Mike Jacobs. “His size and athleticism make him someone who immediately adds competition and improves our goalkeeper pool.”

The 10-year veteran spent eight combined seasons with Seattle Sounders FC and San Jose Earthquakes before being selected by Inter Miami CF in the 2019 MLS Expansion Draft. Meredith was then traded to Vancouver Whitecaps FC prior to the 2020 MLS season.

While in Seattle, the New Jersey native recorded two Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup appearances and 25 matches with USL Championship affiliate Tacoma Defiance.

Meredith originally started his professional career with the Sounders in 2011 as a Second Round selection out of Monmouth University in the MLS SuperDraft. He made his MLS debut the following year, earning 15 appearances including three U.S. Open Cup appearances as a second-year player.

After stints with Swedish Superettan side IK Brage and North American Soccer League club New York Cosmos in 2013, Meredith returned to MLS in 2014 with San Jose Earthquakes before eventually rejoining the Sounders via the MLS Re-Entry Draft in 2016.

Nashville SC release

The 31-year old Meredith has been a backup keeper for the entirety of his nine-year MLS career. He was drafted by Seattle in 2011, and spent two years as a Sounder (12 appearances, all in 2012 as most of 2011 saw him in PDL). He spent 2013 away from the league, first with Sweden’s IK Brage and then domestically with the NASL New York Cosmos, for whom he did not appear. He then spent three years with San Jose – not seeing any time for the Quakes – before Seattle once again secured his rights in re-entry. Hen bounced between the Sounders and their USL affiliate, S2/Tacoma Defiance, with one appearance for the senior team.

Inter Miami picked him in last year’s expansion draft, but traded him to Vancouver Whitecaps before the season. He made three MLS appearances for the ‘Caps this year, allowing 10 goals but making 20 saves. A 3.3 goals-allowed average (terrible) combined with a 66.7% save percentage (not good, but not bad) speaks volumes about exactly how poor Vancouver was last year.

Per American Soccer Analysis, he allowed 0.97 goals/xG – meaning he’s a slightly above-average keeper (and the more traditional stats indicate just how terrible a position he was put in), based on an extremely small sample size. For what it’s worth, that puts him about on-par with starter Maxime Crepeau (0.95), and well ahead of the other backups, including rookie Thomas Hasal (1.15 in 895 minutes) and vet Evan Bush (1.05 in 793 minutes), who played most of the year thanks to the varied injuries to Crepeau and each other. It’s worth noting that in Meredith’s only other year in the ASA database (as it’s the only one since they have data that he actually saw the field), he had awful advanced stats – 1.48 GA/xGA – but in just one appearance the sample size is even less robust.

Meredith was out of contract after the season, so picking him up on a free is fine And he’s a guy who’s on a senior-minimum contract. As with CJ Cochran’s short-term deal last season, this is pretty explicitly a ‘find a third-stringer’ type of signing, as NSC has Joe Willis returning after a career year, is developing Eliot Panicco to be the No. 2, and will have Saunders filling in for depth later.

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