The Columbus Crew SC didn’t have to wait too long to welcome back Justin Meram. The longtime Crew SC midfielder is back with the team, via a trade from Orlando City. Here are the key quotes, an analysis of the transaction, and all you need to know.
COLUMBUS, OHIO — Justin Meram wasn’t gone from Columbus too long.
This past off-season, Meram was traded to Orlando City SC from the Columbus Crew SC for $1.05 million in allocation money and a roster spot. To split up the money, Orlando gave Columbus $750,000 in Targeted Allocation Money.
Now, the Crew are giving it right back.
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Meram was returned to Columbus by Orlando City SC, Friday morning. In return, Columbus gave the Lions $750,000 in T.A.M. and an international roster spot.
During his time in Florida, Meram made 17 appearances — starting 14 matches — for Orlando City SC. He scored once and provided three assists.
Gregg Berhalter, Crew SC sporting director and head coach, said in a press release that the club is ‘pleased’ to welcome back Meram:
"“He has proven to be one of the League’s elite attacking players over the past few years as he helped establish our club’s style of play and define our wide attacking midfield profile. He complements our current attacking corps and understands our environment, so we are confident he will adapt quickly and make our team better as we aim to qualify for the postseason. He has already left a distinct mark in our club’s history and we look forward to the next chapter.”"
How it all started in Columbus
Columbus snatched Meram up in the 2011 MLS SuperDraft, with the No. 15 overall pick.
In seven seasons, the 29-year-old midfielder made 188 appearances, starting 134 matches. He scored 37 goals. His best goal-scoring season was his last, in 2017, where he scored 13 goals. Meram also totaled 33 assists in Columbus.
He was noticed by the Iraq Men’s National Team for his play in Columbus. His parents, Lamia and Sam Meram, immigrated from Iraq to Michigan. Despite being born and raised in Shelby Township, Mich., Meram elected to join the Iraq Men’s National Team, where he has made 27 appearances and scored three goals.
What’s Next for Columbus?
The Crew will return to MAPFRE Stadium on Aug. 11 to face the Houston Dynamo.
Currently, Columbus sits in fourth place in the Eastern Conference with 36 points. Meanwhile, the Houston Dynamo sit in ninth place in the Western Conference with 27 points.
The match will begin at 7:30 p.m. ET.