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Injuries Give Reserves a Chance

Meram still looking for that starting spot?
Meram still looking for that starting spot?

With Dilly Duka out again, the left midfield spot is open once again. Ethan Finlay, Bernardo Anor, and Justin Meram have all lined up out wide, but Duka is the starter when healthy. This gives Justin Meram another spot to make an impact from and to stay in the starting lineup.

Meram has goals in three straight games, but didn't see action in the Crew's game against the Chicago Fire. It appeared he was being rested after playing considerable minutes earlier in the week, but it did underscore that he still is trying to establish himself in the starting lineup, even after his goal outburst. He only made the starting lineup initially due to having two healthy strikers on the team.

The field at forward is crowded, Emilio Renteria has improved towards the end of May and Olman Vargas and Aaron Schoenfeld have seen considerable playing time, but without the goal scoring record of Meram. Jairo Arrieta will join the team in the next month. Eddie Gaven has played as a withdrawn forward recently as well. The competition for playing time will be fierce.

With the left wing spot open, Meram has another shot to stay on the field. His positional flexibility gives Warzycha a clear option to keep Meram in the starting lineup. His recent play certainly shows he deserves more time on the field. He finds ways to score goals. That's a rare commodity on the 2012 Crew.

Josh Williams has also been the beneficiary of the Crew's extreme injury situation. He rose up from sixth on the depth chart to being one of the most consistent starters on the team. He will face a fight for playing time as Chad Marshall, Carlos Mendes, and Julius James start getting healthy. Much like Meram, Williams has done everything to prove he deserves a starting spot.

It will be very interesting to see how Warzycha handles the situation once players like Duka, James, and Marshall are ready to return. Their talent is obvious, but Williams and Meram have put in the performances to earn a starting nod.