Atlanta United are adding some badly needed depth to their midfield. The team announced on Wednesday that they have acquired Iraqi attacking midfielder Justin Meram in a trade with Columbus Crew.
According to the official announcement, Atlanta will give up $100,000 in General Allocation Money (GAM) and an undisclosed draft pick in exchange for Meram’s services.
“Justin is a proven commodity in MLS and we’re pleased to welcome him to Atlanta,” – said Atlanta’s vice president and technical director Carlos Bocanegra in a statement. “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’s addition is especially important for Atlanta United since they will see several key players missing time in the next few months. Ezequiel Barco will be absent with Argentinian U20 team for the FIFA U20 World Cup in late May and early June, while forwards Josef Martinez and Hector Villalba will take part in Copa America 2019 over the summer.
After playing college soccer with Michigan Wolverines, Justin Meram was taken 15th overall in 2011 MLS SuperDraft by Columbus Crew. He played seven years with Crew and established himself as an important part of the team’s starting lineup before being traded to Orlando City in 2018. Meram, however, didn’t settle in Orlando in the best way possible and ended up being traded back to Columbus after just 17 games.
Meram played a total of 223 games in MLS and managed to score 39 goals while providing 37 assists.