Justin Meram Iraq
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Crew SC's Justin Meram earns Iraq National Team call-up for 2015 AFC Asian Cup

Columbus Crew SC today announced that midfielder Justin Meram has earned a call-up from the Iraq National Team ahead of the 2015 AFC (Asian Football Confederation) Asian Cup.

Before the tournament, the midfielder will participate in a training camp, which is set to be held in Dubai. The camp provides the Lions of Mesopotamia an opportunity to train before the Asian Cup, which takes place in Australia from January 9-31. The tournament, held every four years, is organized by the AFC, and the winner qualifies for the 2017 FIFA Confederations Cup in Russia. Iraq was the tournament champion of the 2007 AFC Asian Cup.

Meram will join his teammates beginning on December 20 in Dubai, with friendly matches scheduled against Kuwait (December 23) and a pair of match-ups against Uzbekistan (December 25, 28). The Crew SC winger is then slated to travel to Australia for another pre-tournament friendly, on January 4 versus Iran in Sydney.

Iraq has been drawn in Group D at the 2015 AFC Asian Cup and will play Jordan (January 12), Japan (January 16) and Palestine (January 20) in the Group Stage, with the top two sides advancing to the Knockout Stage.

The call-up from Iraq is the second for Meram, as the midfielder earned his first three caps for the Lions of Mesopotamia at the 2014 Gulf Cup of Nations, which was held in November. Previously, he became the first player in Major League Soccer history to earn a call-up from the Iraq National Team.

The 26-year-old experienced a breakout MLS campaign in 2014, notching a career-best eight goals and four assists for the Black & Gold. He was re-signed to a new contract following the season.

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