A familiar face looks to be heading back to Columbus.
After just seven months in Florida, Orlando City has reportedly completed a trade with the Columbus Crew, sending Meram back to the Crew in exchange for $750,000 in target allocation money and a 2019 international roster spot. The move sees Meram return to the team and coach he played his best soccer for, becoming a league star in 2017 with 13 goals and seven assists.
Meram originally joined Orlando City in January, having asked for a move away from Columbus with his value sky-high. In return, the Crew received $700,000 in TAM and 300,000 in GAM, which the club ends up netting in the deal. But Meram never found his old form playing for Jason Kreis and now James O’Connor, and as soon as O’Connor came in, it seemed Meram was ready to go elsewhere.
In 17 games, Meram scored just one goal and set up three others. In the prior four seasons under Gregg Berhalter in Columbus, Meram played in at least 31 games each season and recorded a combined 32 goals and 29 assists.
One of Meram’s reasons for leaving Columbus in the first place was he wasn’t happy about the uncertainty over whether the club would be leaving the city for Austin, Texas at the end of this season, or next. But it appears Meram found out the hard way that other teams can’t give him what Berhalter has. Freedom to attack, cut in from the left wing and play a huge role for a title-contender.