Atlanta United acquires Justin Meram in trade with Columbus Crew

Atlanta United has acquired midfielder Justin Meram from the Columbus Crew in exchange for around $100,000 in General Allocation Money (GAM) and an undisclosed draft pick.

The deal allows Atlanta United to obtain some attacking depth with Ezequiel Barco set to take part in the FIFA U20 World Cup with Argentina over the next several weeks, while forwards Josef Martinez and Hector Villalba are likely to play in this summer's Copa America with Venezuela and Paraguay, respectively.

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"Justin is a proven commodity in MLS and we're pleased to welcome him to Atlanta," said vice president and technical director Carlos Bocanegra. "During his time in Columbus, Justin established himself as one of the better attacking players in the league and we expect him to come in and compete immediately."

Meram, 30, has seen his stock suffer a steep decline in the last 18 months. Coming off a 2017 campaign in which he scored 13 goals and added seven assists for the Crew, Meram was traded to Orlando City prior to the 2018 season for $750,000 in Targeted Allocation Money and $300,000 in GAM plus an international roster spot.

But Meram never settled in Orlando, scoring just one goal along with three assists in 17 appearances, and his relationship with the club's fans became tense.

Meram was then shipped back to Columbus in August of 2018 for $750,000 in TAM plus an international roster spot, but he continued to struggle, recording one goal and one assist in nine appearances, seven of them starts. This season Meram has yet to score in 379 minutes of playing time across nine appearances.

Meram has recorded 45 goals in 252 league, cup and playoff appearances. An Iraqi international, Meram has made 23 appearances, scoring three goals.