Belleville born and Kearny raised, Meola didn't play in the Harrison era of RBNY, but he did establish a record that will never be broken: he is this twice-named team's first starting goalkeeper - twice over. Meola started the Metrostars first-ever competitive match on their opening day of MLS' inaugural season in 1996; he started the club's first MLS league match as the New York Red Bulls in 2006 also.
Along the way, Meola set a number of club and league records - some of which still stand. He is RBNY's all-time, all-competitions leading goalkeeper in games played (140) and minutes (12,619). And he leads the club's goalkeeping record books in those categories for the regular season and US Open Cup.
He is also the club's all-time, all-competitions leader in shutouts: 30 over the course of his career - of which 25 were accumulated in the MLS regular season, four in US Open Cup, and one in the MLS playoffs.
At the time that Meola raised his arms to acknowledge the deserved applause from the crowd at Red Bull Arena on August 9, he was still RBNY's stand-alone shutouts record-holder in regular season and US Open Cup matches. Ninety minutes later, after the Red Bulls closed out a 2-0 win over NYC FC, Meola shared his regular season record with Luis Robles - for whom the clean sheet was his 25th in league play for RBNY.
Less than a week later, Meola is now second on RBNY's all-time regular season shutouts list: RBNY beat Toronto FC 3-0 on August 15; Luis Robles has now recorded 26 shutouts in league matches for the New York Red Bulls.
Throw in one shutout in the 2014 playoffs and one in this year's USOC: Robles has 28 career shutouts for RBNY. He is two short of matching Meola's all-time, all-competitions record.
The conversation about which of RBNY's 'keepers is the very best the club has ever had is not decided by statistics and achievements alone, and is probably one that only those who have watched the team in every season of its existence can decisively address.
But Tony Meola is certainly in that conversation. And so too is Luis Robles: the starting goalkeeper for the only season yet in which RBNY won a meaningful trophy, and now the club's record-holder for all-time regular season shutouts.
Congratulations, Luis. May there be many, many more shutouts (and trophies) ahead of you.