In one of the biggest transfer coup of this preseason, Orlando City have landed Justin Meram from Columbus Crew. This is a major transfer and could prove to be the difference between success and failure for Orlando City in the MLS this season.
Meram comes at a very high price with Columbus Crew collecting upwards of $1 million in targeted Allocation Money and General Allocation Money from Orlando. They would also inherit Orlando’s 2019 international Player slot, but who is Meram and why is he worth all these?
Born in Shelby Charter Township, Michigan, United States, Meram currently plays for the Iraqi national team as he qualifies through his parents who emigrated to the United States from the Middle Eastern country.
Meram had a solid school career, winning so many team and individual honors including leading his team to back-to-back NJCAA National Championships, earning 2008 National Junior College Player of the Year honors, being named a NSCAA and NJCAA All-American, earning ACCAC Conference Player of the Year honors, and being named MVP at both the national and regional tournaments during the 2007 season.
He was the 15th overall pick in the 2011 MLS SuperDraft picked by the Columbus Crew, he went on to score 37 goals in 188 games for the Crew before being traded to the Orlando City Lions.
Among all the attacking signings Orlando has made this month, Meram seems to be the most successful, experienced and capable. He comes with some impressive stats to back up his very good experience in the MLS over the past seven seasons.
According to Whoscored, Meram scored an impressive 14 goals and provided 6 assists from 39 games in the MLS last year. His most productive position seems to be the left of attack as he netted 12 goals, provided 5 assists and had an average rating of 7.32 in the 26 games he played in that position, while his second most favorite position is the center of attacking midfield.
The 29 years old is a very good dribbler, good with playing through balls, and enjoys takings shots from distance as his average shot per game stands at 1.8. His average rating last season was 7.13 and he won the Man-Of-the-Match in 7 games.
This is a signing that excites us all and we hope he would do even better than he did for Columbus Crew.