TRANSFER TRACKER STATUS: Trade
Justin Meram has finally gotten his trade.
Columbus Crew SC announced Monday that they had traded the 29-year-old winger to Orlando City SC in exchange for $750,000 of Targeted Allocation Money, $300,000 of General Allocation Money and a 2019 international roster spot to be returned to Orlando in 2020. The trade, which was first reported earlier Monday by ESPN FC's Jeff Carlisle, put to an end nearly a month of speculation about the Iraqi international's future.
“Justin is the ideal fit to round out our attacking group. He’s a proven contributor in our league who can both score and create goals,” Lions General Manager Niki Budalic said in a statement provided by the team. “His 1v1 ability and versatility to operate in various roles will add another dimension to our attack.”
The move comes just over a week after Columbus dealt Ola Kamara to the LA Galaxy. In early January, MLSsoccer.com's Sam Stejskal reported Kamara and Meram had both requested an offseason move. Kamara's motivation was a bigger contract, while Meram wanted a new challenge after spending all seven of his pro seasons in Columbus.
Meram took to Twitter shortly before the trade became official to share a farewell message to Columbus:
Meram is coming off a career year, scoring 13 goals and adding seven assists in the 2017 regular season before helping Columbus to the Eastern Conference Championship. Over the course of his career, Meram has registered 37 goals and 37 assists in 188 regular-season appearances (134 starts) in addition, Meram has three goals and two assists in 12 postseason games with Columbus, including their run to the 2015 MLS Cup.
At the international level, Meram – a Michigan native – represents Iraq, the country of his parents' birth. He has appeared 25 times for the Lions of Mesopotamia, scoring three goals.