Atlanta United has acquired midfielder Justin Meram from Columbus Crew SC in exchange for $100,000 in General Allocation Money (GAM) and the club’s natural second round selection in the 2020 MLS SuperDraft.
“Justin is a proven commodity in MLS and we’re pleased to welcome him to Atlanta,” said Vice President and Technical Director Carlos Bocanegra. “During his time in Columbus, Justin established himself as one of the better attacking players in the league and we expect him to come in and compete immediately.”
Meram, 30, was the No. 15 overall selection in the 2011 MLS SuperDraft. He’s spent all but one season with Columbus and has made 223 career league appearances with 159 starts. With 39 goals and 37 assists, Meram is closing in on becoming just the 35th player in league history to register 40 goals and 40 assists in a career. He broke through during the 2014 season in Columbus under then-head coach Gregg Berhalter, where he scored eight goals and had seven assists in 32 regular-season appearances. The following year, Meram was a mainstay in the Columbus lineup, starting 28 games and scoring six goals. He started all five MLS Cup Playoff matches as he helped lead the club to the 2015 MLS Cup Final against Portland. In 2016, he posted a career-high 13 assists that ranked third in MLS. He followed that up with a 13-goal season that ranked in the top 20 in MLS. Meram has made a total of 16 career postseason appearances while scoring three goals with two assists.
At the international level, Meram has earned 31 caps with the Iraq National Team, making his debut in the 2014 Gulf Cup of Nations’ opening match against Kuwait on November 14. The midfielder scored his first goal with the Lions of Mesopotamia during a 5-1 home victory over Chinese Taipei in a 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifier on September 3, 2015, converting a penalty kick in the first minute of second half stoppage time.
Atlanta United (3-3-2, 11 points) returns to action Wednesday when it hosts Toronto FC at Mercedes-Benz Stadium (7:00 p.m., Fox Sports Southeast, Sports Radio 92-9 The Game).