Iraq concluded play in the AFC Asian Cup Friday morning, falling to the United Arab Emirates, 3-2, in the Third-Place Match of the tournament in Newcastle, Australia. Crew SC's Justin Meram came on in the 86th minute for the Lions of Mesopotamia. In total, Meram played 186 minutes for Iraq in the competition.
Upon returning to the States, Meram will be given rest by the Crew SC technical staff before reporting to the Black & Gold's preseason camp.
"He’s at a different level of fitness than the rest of the group right now," Berhalter said of Meram earlier in the week. "He’s been playing competitive games for the last month. I think the important thing now is to get him recovered, give him rest and join the team at a later date.
"We’re going to give him some time off, and we’ll see him when we think it’s appropriate."
Dreams were realized Wednesday evening in Rancagua, Chile as Gahanna native and Crew SC midfielder Wil Trapp earned his first cap for the U.S. Men's National Team. Trapp played 31 minutes in the Americans' 3-2 loss to Chile, coming on for NYCFC midfielder Mix Diskerud in the 59th minute. Orlando City SC's Brek Shea and Toronto FC's Jozy Altidore found the net for the USA, but it wasn't enough to overcome Chilean goals from Mark Gonzalez (2) and Roberto Gutierrez.
The U.S. returns to play on February 8 against Panama at the StubHub Center in Carson, Calif.
After two weeks of training in Carson, Calif. and Santiago, Chile, the United States Men's National Team is set to open its 2015 campaign on Wednesday night in a friendly with Chile in Rancagua. For Crew SC's Wil Trapp, Wednesday could be a monumental evening as he works toward earning his first cap for the U.S.
Earning U.S. Soccer's 2013 Young Male Athlete of the Year award, Trapp has seen time previously in the National Team's youth ranks, with the current January camp being the Gahanna native's first Senior Team experience.
Without a doubt, Trapp's coaches and Crew SC teammates are eager to watch Wednesday's match in hope of seeing the midfielder don the Red, White and Blue for the first time on Senior Team level.
"Obviously, we’d like to watch the game," Crew SC Sporting Director and Head Coach Gregg Berhalter said. "We don’t have any formal plans, but I’m sure all of us will be watching, including the team. We’re extremely proud of Wil. He’s put himself in this position by his hard work and his dedication to learning and improving."
The USMNT and Chile kick-off at 6:00 p.m. ET on FOX Sports 1.
Crew SC's Wil Trapp and the New England Revolution's Lee Nguyen talk with MLSsoccer.com about the United States Men's National Team's preparations for Wednesday's friendly versus Chile.
Iraq fell 2-0 against Korea Republic in the AFC Asian Cup Semifinal early Monday morning in Syndey Australia. Jung-Hyub Lee and Young-Gwon Kim supplied the goals for the Taegeuk Warriors to advance to Saturday's Final. Though he did not see action on Monday, Crew SC winger Justin Meram has logged 182 minutes so far for the Lions of Mesopotamia in the tournament. Iraq faces the loser of Australia vs. the United Arab Emirates in Friday's Third-Place Match at 4:00 a.m. ET in Newcastle.
It was quite a showing for Columbus Crew SC and United States U-20 Men's National Team midfielder Romain Gall at the CONCACAF U-20 Championship in Jamaica.
With five goals scored in the tournament, the Crew SC attacker earned a share of the competition's Golden Boot honor with Mexico's Hirving Lozano. Gall scored a hat trick in the USA's 8-0 win over Aruba, followed by a brace in a 2-0 victory versus Jamaica. Former winners of the award include Costa Rica's Joel Campbell and Honduras striker Roger Rojas.
Gall's efforts also earned him a place in the tournament's Best XI along with fellow American Shaquell Moore. Gall's Crew SC teammate Wil Trapp was named to the CONCACAF U-20 Championship Best XI in 2013.
Gall and the Americans are set to play in the 2015 FIFA U-20 World Cup in New Zealand this summer after cementing their qualification with a 2-0 win over El Salvador Saturday night.
Romain Gall and trhe United States Under-20 Men's National Team punched their ticket to the 2015 FIFA U-20 World Cup in New Zealand on Saturday evening with a 2-0 win over El Salvador in the Playoff Round of the CONCACAF U-20 Championship in Montego Bay, Jamaica. The Crew SC miidfielder started and played 62 minutes in the win. Finishing play in the tournament with five goals, Gall is currently tied for the competition's scoring lead with Mexico's Hirving Lozano heading into tomorrow's Final between Mexico and Panama. In total, Gall has scored nine goals in 14 international matches with the U-20 USMNT.
Mexico, Panama, Honduras and the USA are the four teams that will represent CONCACAF in New Zealand. The 2015 FIFA U-20 World Cup takes place May 30-June 20. The Americans will learn their group on February 10 during the tournament draw.
Photo courtesy of U.S. Soccer.
Crew SC's Justin Meram started and played 45 minutes in Iraq's wild, 3-3 (7-6) win over Iran in the AFC Asian Cup Semifinal early Friday morning in Canberra, Australia. Iran took a lead in the 24th minute as Sardar Azmoun would finish past Iraqi 'keeper Jalal Hassan to make it 1-0. But after Iran went down to 10 men following a second yellow card issued to Mehrdad Pooladi just before halftime, Iraq would rally in the second half with Ahmed Yasin scoring the equalizer in the 56th minute. The drama continued into extratime as the two countries traded goals twice, with Iran forcing a penalty-kick shootout in the 119th minute. The Lions of Mesopotamia would go on to advance 7-6 in the shootout.
Iraq now faces Korea Republic in the Semifinal at 4:00 a.m. ET Monday morning, January 26. Host nation Australia and the United Arab Emirates square-off in the other Semifinal match.
Wil Trapp chats with ColumbusCrewSC.com's Cody Sharrett about his U.S. Men's National Camp experience so far, his role in Jürgen Klinsmann's system and a new rival in Toronto.
Crew SC winger Romain Gall started and played 69 minutes in the United States Under-20 Men's National Team's 1-0 victory over Trinidad & Tobago to advance out of Group A in the CONCACAF U-20 Championship on Wednesday evening in Montego Bay, Jamaica. LA Galaxy forward Bradford Jamieson IV's 78th-minute strike was the lone tally in the clash as the U.S. finished in second place of Group A, ahead of Guatemala on total goals scored.
The U.S. will discover its next oppoenent after the re-seeding process ahead of the Playoff Round. The Americans are currently one win away from qualifying for the 2015 FIFA U-20 World Cup in New Zealand.
Photo courtesy of U.S. Soccer