Justin Meram didn’t play a single minute in the Columbus Crew’s first eight games of his sophomore season. He made his first appearance due to injuries to other Crew forwards in the 0-0 tie in Portland on May 5th, coming on in the 80th minute. Since that game, Meram has started all three of Columbus’ matches (Dallas, San Jose, and Seattle), scoring a goal in every single one.
As a rookie out of the University of Michigan, Meram played in seventeen games in 2011, starting four. He didn’t record a goal, but he did pick up two assists, including one in stoppage time to give the Crew a 1-1 tie in New York on June 4th.
Meram has submitted himself into Robert Warzycha’s plans for the time being. While sometimes struggling with his decision making and maintaining possession of the ball, there is no doubt that Meram possess great attacking ability.
His ever first goal against FC Dallas on May 12th was a hard, low shot from the center of the field, way outside the box. He is currently the only player on this team that I have seen even attempt a shot from that position and in that manner, excluding Milovan Mirosevic. Meram’s finishing ability from that distance was top class.
The next week, Meram scored another wonder goal in San Jose. He received the ball on the left wing, dribbled toward the box, and curled a right-footed shot straight into the top-right corner of the goal. Earthquakes goalie Jon Busch could only watch as the perfectly placed shot hit the net.
Meram showed off a different skill of his just four days later in Seattle. Dilly Duka sent in a cross from the right wing. Meram made a run into the box, out jumped a Seattle defender, and headed the ball straight into the right-side netting. His leaping ability was superb, and his finishing quality is obviously not only limited to his feet.
The 23-year-old Meram still has a lot to prove. However, if he continues to refine his skill set, his attacking presence could be extremely vital not only this year, but for many seasons to come.
Meram has the guts to try things that others on this team currently do not have. Let’s hope he stays fearless, for the sake of both his career and the Columbus Crew.
Be Massive, Justin Meram.