Justin Meram

Justin Meram
Justin Meram
Justin Meram
Real Name: Justin Meram
HT: 6' 1" WT: 165
Pronunciation: MAIR-ahm
Age: 28 (12/04/1988)
Birthplace: Shelby Township, Michigan
Hometown: Shelby Township, Michigan



2017 (Columbus): Meram made 34 appearances (32 starts) this season: 25 as a left midfielder, eight as an attacking midfielder and one substitute appearance as a forward, recording 13 goals and seven assists. The midfielder made his season debut as a starter in the Opening Match against the Chicago Fire (March 4), providing an assist. Meram notched his second assist of the season in a road contest against the Houston Dynamo (March 11). He scored his first goal of the season at home against the Portland Timbers (March 25), making him the seventh Crew SC player in history to record 25 career-goals and 25 career-assists. Meram recorded a brace against Orlando City (April 1), tallying his second and third goals of the year in the match; he was also voted the club’s Acura Man of the Match by Crew SC fans and earned MLSSoccer.com’s Team of the Week honors. Meram scored the game-winning goal and his fourth goal of the season at home against Toronto FC (April 15). He recorded his third assist at home against New York City FC (April 29) and his fourth assist against the New England Revolution (May 6), his 30th career regular-season assist for Crew SC. Meram started in a road match against the Montreal Impact (May 13); during the match he recorded his first career hat trick, scored his 30th goal and became the sixth Crew SC player to record at least 30 goals and 30 assists for the club in regular-season action. Meram was named the Alcatel MLS Player of the Week following his performance against Montreal. He scored his eighth goal, recorded his fifth assist and was nominated for MLSSoccer.com’s AT&T Goal of the Week after his performance against Seattle Sounders FC (May 31). Meram recorded his sixth assist of 2017 on the road against the Colorado Rapids (June 3). He was named to MLSSoccer.com’s Team of the Week for his performances against Seattle and Colorado. Meram started in a road match against Atlanta United FC (June 17) and was named to MLSSoccer.com’s Team of the Week. He started in a home match against the Philadelphia Union (July 22) and scored the game-winning goal, his ninth goal of the season. Meram started in a road match against the San Jose Earthquakes (August 5) and recorded an assist. Meram started in a home match against the Chicago Fire (August 12), scoring his 10th goal of the 2017 MLS regular season, which was the game-winner. He started in a home match against the LA Galaxy (August 23) and scored his 11th goal of the season. Meram came on as a substitute in a road contest against Vancouver Whitecaps FC (September 16). He started against the New York Red Bulls (September 23), scoring his 12th goal of the 2017 MLS regular season. Meram started in a home match against D.C. United (September 30), scoring his 13th goal of 2017 and earning a spot on MLSSoccer.com’s Team of the Week for his performance. Meram’s goal was also nominated for MLSSoccer.com’s AT&T Goal of the Week. Meram has made two appearances (all starts) at left midfield, registering one goal and one assist in the Audi 2017 MLS Cup Playoffs. He started in a road match against Atlanta United FC (October 26) in the Eastern Conference Knockout Round and in a home match against New York City FC (October 31) in the First Leg of the Eastern Conference Semifinals, scoring one goal and providing one assist.

2016 (Columbus):  Meram made 33 appearances (31 starts) for Crew SC in 2016, with 30 appearances coming at left midfield and three at right midfield en route to club Most Valuable Player honors. He scored five goals and added 13 assists. He registered his first start of the campaign at left midfield at Chicago (March 19). He continued in the starting lineup at FC Dallas (April 2) and scored his first goal of the season on a corner kick from Federico Higuaín. He notched his first career two-helper game with a one-goal, two-assist performance against New York City FC (April 16). He started against Montreal (May 7) where he registered his third assist of the season. He played 45 minutes during a start in the international friendly against Veracruz (May 11) and notched an assist. He started at left midfield against Real Salt Lake (May 28) and recorded his second two-assist game of the campaign. He notched his sixth assist of the season vs. Orlando (July 23). Meram received an international call-up and earned his 18th cap for Iraq in a friendly against Qatar (August 8). He scored his third goal of the season in a start against New York City FC (August 13) and notched an assist as part of a 2-0 win during a start at New England (August 20). The midfielder registered a one-goal, one-assist performance as part of another victory vs. San Jose (August 27) as he scored his first-ever regular-season penalty for Crew SC in the match. He earned a call-up by the Iraq National Team ahead of two 2018 FIFA World Cup qualifiers against Australia (September 1) and Saudi Arabia (September 6), earning his 19th cap and 20th caps with starts in each match. He started at Orlando (September 17) and recorded his ninth assist of the season. He made his 150th career MLS regular-season appearance by starting at D.C. United (September 28). He recorded his fifth goal and 10th assist of the season in a 3-0 shutout over Chicago (October 1). Meram notched his 11th assist on the season in a 2-2 draw at Chicago (October 13), recorded his 12th assist on the season at New York Red Bulls (October 16) and notched his 13th assist on the season at New York City FC (October 23). He made two appearances in the 2016 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup as he started at forward and scored a goal in the 4-0 win over Tampa Bay (June 15) and again started in the Round of 16 clash at Chicago (June 28). 

2015 (Columbus): Meram made 31 appearances (28 starts) at left midfield in 2015, scoring six goals and notching five assists. He started the home opener against Toronto FC (March 14) and registered the game-winning goal. He missed the club’s match against New York (March 28) while on international duty with the Iraq National Team, but returned with a start at Vancouver (April 8), where he recorded his first assist of the season. He scored in consecutive matches following a tally against Philadelphia (April 25). Meram recorded his second assist of the season with a helper on Kei Kamara’s second goal vs. Seattle (May 9) and earned his third assist via Kei Kamara’s eighth-minute goal vs. Chicago (May 22), which was the 500th-ever home regular-season goal in Black & Gold history. He started the club’s international friendly vs. Valencia CF (May 27) and made his 100th appearance in MLS and for Crew SC with a start at Orlando (May 30). Meram received his second international call-up of the season from the Iraq National Team and earned his 14th cap by starting the team’s friendly at Japan (June 11). He recorded assists in back-to-back games for the second time in his career with a helper at Orlando (August 1). Once again, Meram received a call-up by Iraq ahead of two 2018 FIFA World Cup qualifiers, scoring his first international goal against Chinese Taipei (September 3) and his second against Thailand (September 8). He earned an additional call-up and started for Iraq in a 2018 FIFA World Cup qualifying match at Vietnam (October 8). In the Audi 2015 MLS Cup Playoffs, Meram started all five games for Crew SC, scoring the fastest goal in MLS postseason history (nine seconds) in the First Leg against the New York Red Bulls in the Eastern Conference Championship (November 22). Meram made a substitute appearance in both Crew SC’s 2015 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup Fourth Round contest at Richmond (June 17) and its Round of 16 match at Orlando (June 30).

2014 (Columbus): Meram made 32 appearances -- including 19 starts -- at midfield as part of a breakout campaign. He scored eight goals and assisted on four others, career-bests in both categories. Meram appeared in the season-opening win at D.C. (March 8) and recorded his first assist of the season. He was an 89th-minute sub and scored the game-winning goal in the fourth minute of stoppage time at Seattle (March 29). He made his first start of the season at left midfield against New York (April 26) and drew a penalty that led to a Columbus goal. Meram came on as a late-match substitute at New England (July 26) and assisted on Ethan Finlay’s match-winning goal. He scored his third goal of the season in a second-half substitute appearance versus Toronto FC (August 9). He scored the opening goal versus the LA Galaxy (August 16) and added an assist later in the contest. Meram repeated the one-goal, one-assist effort for the second consecutive match in a start versus Houston (August 23). He started in the club’s final nine League matches of the regular season, recording his first career brace versus Chivas USA (September 7) and scoring again at Philadelphia (October 11). Meram made his postseason debut and scored his first MLS Cup Playoffs goal in a start versus New England (November 1) -- he started the second leg at New England (November 9) and recorded his first career MLS Cup Playoffs assist. Meram made two Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup appearances, including one start in tournament action -- he made a substitute appearance in the 2-1 win over Indy Eleven in the Fourth Round (June 17) and started at forward in the Fifth Round at Chicago (June 25). Following the season, he received his first-ever international call-up, making three caps for Iraq at the 2014 Gulf Cup of Nations.

2013 (Columbus): Meram made 19 appearances split between right midfield, left midfield and forward in his third season with the Black & Gold, recording one goal and one assist. His appearances included eight starts and five substitute appearances at left midfield, one start and three substitute appearances at right midfield and two substitute appearances at forward. He made his season debut against San Jose (March 16) and his first start of the year at right wing in the match at Toronto (May 18). In his second straight start at right midfield at New York (May 26), he was awarded a penalty which led to a Federico Higuain goal. Meram made starts in the right midfield at Philadelphia (June 5) and against New York (August 10) but did not travel to the match at Real Salt Lake (August 24) suffering from back spasms. He returned to action with a start at left midfield against Seattle (August 31) and in the next match against Houston (September 4) scored his first goal and recorded his first assist – the game-winner – of the season in a start at left midfield in the 2-0 win. In MLS Reserve League action, he made nine starts – five at forward and four in the midfield – scoring one goal and recording one assist. In the 2013 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup, he made two appearances – including one start at forward – and scored the game-winning goal in the 84th minute in the Third Round win against Dayton (May 29) after subbing-on.

2012 (Columbus): In his second season, Meram made 22 appearances and 11 starts to score four goals and record one assist in 960 minutes. Meram recorded goals in three consecutive games during the month of May against FC Dallas, San Jose and Seattle. He also scored the game-winner in the 89th minute on September 19.

2011 (Columbus): Meram made his MLS regular season debut on May 28 against Chivas USA. He appeared in 12 other matches as a substitute and started four matches. The rookie recorded his first professional assist on June 4 and another on June 18. 2011. Meram started in seven matches in the MLS Reserve League season, scoring four goals and recording one assist. Meram started and recorded an assist in the club's U.S. Open Cup match against Richmond. Meram appeared in both quarterfinal matches against Real Salt Lake as a substitute in the 2010-11 CONCACAF Champions League.


Meram split his college career between Michigan (2009 - 2010) and Yavapai College (2007 - 2008). He started 40 of 41 matches played while at Michigan scoring 24 goals and recording 14 assists. Meram earned back-to-back Second Team All-BigTen honors (09-10). He started all 52 matches at Yavapai College with 51 goals and 30 assists, earning two consecutive National Junior College Player of the Year honors (07 - 08). Meram was elected to the NJCAA Hall of Fame in May 2012.


As of October 6, 2017

Meram has earned 25 caps all-time for Iraq, with his first call-up by the Iraq National Team coming on November 10, 2014 ahead of the 2014 Gulf Cup of Nations. In the tournament, the winger made his first career international appearance and earned his first cap with a start against Kuwait, playing the full 90 minutes. He earned his second cap in a 1-1 draw against Oman and his third in a 2-0 loss to the United Arab Emirates as Iraq failed to advance from the Group Stage.

Meram earned his second call-up to participate in training camp and friendlies ahead of the 2015 AFC Asian Cup. In the tournament, he made substitute appearances against both Jordan (January 12) and Japan (January 16). He started the Lions of Mesopotamia's final Group Stage match against Palestine (January 20), helping Iraq to a 2-0 win and qualification for the Quarterfinals. Meram started that Quarterfinal match against Iran, a match that Iraq eventually won on penalties 3-3 (7-6). Meram made an appearance in the Third Place match, coming on as a substitute against the UAE and earning his 11th cap in the process. He earned another call-up on March 21, 2015 ahead of two friendlies against the Democratic Republic of the Congo, both in Dubai. The midfielder started both matches, helping Iraq to a victory in each. He was again called-up for a friendly, this time in Japan, on June 11, 2015 in a contest that he started.

He earned another call-up from the Lions of Mesopotamia ahead of two qualification matches for the 2018 FIFA World Cup on August 28, 2015. He scored his first international goal with a penalty kick as part of a win against Chinese Taipei (September 3), and added his second goal (and 16th cap) in a start during a draw at Thailand (September 8). He earned an additional call-up on September 29, 2015 ahead of another qualification match at Vietnam (October 8), a contest that he started, earning his 17th cap in a 1-1 draw. He was once again called up for FIFA World Cup qualification ahead of a match against Chinese Taipei (November 17), but did not make an appearance in Iraq's 2-0 win.

In 2016, he earned another senior call-up ahead of Iraq's international friendly against Qatar on August 8, where he played 45 minutes in a substitute role (his 18th cap) and registered an assist on the Lions of Mesopotamia's goal in a 2-1 loss. He was once again called-up prior to Asian Football Confederation Third Round qualification for the 2018 FIFA World Cup with Iraq by joining the team ahead of matches against Australia in Perth (September 1) and against Saudi Arabia in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia (September 6). He recorded his 19th and 20th appearances for Iraq with starts in both contests. Meram started for Iraq in a friendly against Jordan at Amman International Stadium in Jordan (November 6). He earned his 22nd cap for Iraq playing the full 90 minutes of a 2018 FIFA World Cup qualifier against United Arab Emirates (November 15). He started in consecutive 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifiers: Meram played 90 minutes and scored the opening goal for Iraq in their 2-1 win over Thailand (August 31) and played 71 minutes in Iraq’s 1-0 victory over the United Arab Emirates (September 5). He started in an international friendly against Kenya (October 5). The match against Kenya marked the first time that the midfielder has played for his national team in Iraq.


Meram was selected 15th overall by Columbus in the First Round of the 2011 MLS SuperDraft and was re-signed on December 2, 2014.

Meram signed a multi-year contract extension with Columbus Crew SC on March 9, 2017.


Meram is the son of Lamia and Sam Meram. His middle name is Joseph. In his free time, he enjoys relaxing, talking to his family back home and attending Columbus Blue Jackets and Clippers games. He lists winning the National Championship with Division II program Yavapai, where he attended from 2007-2008, as well as getting drafted by Columbus as his two favorite soccer memories. Meram enjoys watching action movies and listening to techno, rap and country. His favorite band is Fun. Outside of MLS, Meram supports Real Madrid and his favorite player is Cristiano Ronaldo. Meram’s role models are his parents and his uncle Tony. His favorite place that he’s traveled to is Vancouver and he’d like to travel to Madrid and Italy someday. Meram was a high school football kicker and he played for University of Michigan’s football program for two years, wearing number 38. Both of Meram’s parents immigrated from Iraq to Michigan and he supports Michigan teams: the Red Wings and Lions. In addition to the football team, Meram also is fascinated with the animal lion as well. He was National Player of the Year with Yabapai in 2008 and was inducted into the NJCAA Soccer Hall of Fame in 2012 for his career at the junior college. In addition to English, Meram is fluent in Chaldean, a dialect of Arabic.

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Career Statistics (Regular Season)
2017Columbus Crew SC343213258876128271460
2016Columbus Crew SC333152605137627211330
2015Columbus Crew SC3128622305752727730
2014Columbus Crew3219816834522127120
2013Columbus Crew1991781121613410
2012Columbus Crew221149601271022130
2011Columbus Crew17405152928520
Career Totals-18813437113623332112114545200
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