It's not often that Columbus Crew SC has a player recognized for being one of the best in his country, but the Black & Gold's Justin Meram has been honored for that.
The Crew SC midfielder was one of 10 players nominated for Iraqi Player of the Year for 2015 due to his play with the national team as well as in Major League Soccer.
Meram became the first ever MLS player to be called up to the Iraq national team in November of 2014 when he was brought in for the 2014 Golf Cup of Nations. He made his Iraqi debut in the first game of the tournament, starting for his country.
In total, Meram has made 17 appearances for Iraq, 15 this calendar year, scoring two goals, both in 2015.
For Crew SC this season, Meram appeared in 31 games, starting a career-high 28 with six goals and a career-best five assists and helped Columbus reach and host the MLS Cup Final. During the playoff run with the Black & Gold, Meram scored the fastest goal in MLS Cup Playoff history, finding the back of the next just nine seconds into the match.
It was announced on Monday that Crew SC had picked up the option on Meram's contract along with 10 other players.
The voting for the Iraq Player of the Year is 60 percent fans, while 40 percent goes to 80 Iraqi coaches, journalists, and specialist (including the national team coaches, the FA president, and the minister of sports).
Fans have until December 14 to vote and can help Meram win the Player of the Year award here.