After starting the Crew's past two MLS matches on the left side of midfield, winger Justin Meram is starting to gain confidence after netting the winner in Wednesday's 2-1 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup victory against the Dayton Dutch Lions. Meram's bending a highlight-reel goal from outside the penalty area could be a sign of things to come for the Black & Gold.
"I've had a couple starts, I'm feeling good," Meram said after the match. "It's like one of those confidence things. Last year, I had those couple goals. When you have confidence, you don't even think about it."
In 2012, Meram scored four goals in 22 starts during his second season as a pro. The winger hopes his tally on Wednesday will help bring back his insticts in front of net and build confidence for MLS play.
"Tonight, I wasn't thinking about too much. So, I think that's the difference," Meram explained after the Crew's Open Cup victory.
"Once you start thinking about 'Am I onside?' or 'I've got to have the right touch,' you're already two steps behind. I've got to get back to my instinct and what I'm good at. I've been doing it in college and a little bit here. Those chances, they only come so often. When you get them, you've got to bury them."
The Crew could be counting on Meram more and more during the MLS season as the team is still unsure of Eddie Gaven's status going forward. The veteran midfielder left in the 86th minute of Wednesday night's match with an injury. More information will be know after Gaven goes through more examinations on Thursday by team physicians.