Justin Meram refocused on Orlando City after national team stint with Iraq


At this point, it’s safe to call Orlando City forward Justin Meram a consummate international veteran.

Having received his first call-up to the Iraq national team back in 2014, Meram is very much used to the grind of international travel, acclimation and playing games in a short span of time.

“It’s easy for me,” Meram said after training on Friday. “Been doing this four years now, so I know what it takes to get my body ready for the game. There’s a lot of things that I’ve been doing the last 24 hours and now I turn my focus back to Orlando City and get my mind right for Saturday.”

Meram and Iraq played two matches over the last week, both in the southeast city of Basra. Their first match was a 3-2 loss to Qatar, while the second was a 1-1 draw with Syria. The Lions forward played a prominent role in both matches and even pulled out a bit of skill in his second match.

“It was great,” Meram said. “To be there with the people and the passion in Iraq is something special, so for me anytime I have the chance of playing in front of our home fans, it’s astronomical. In terms of my feelings for the country and the passion the play and wear the jersey.”

After a long bit of travel on Wednesday, Meram is back in Orlando and ready to get back to work for his new club as they search for their first win of the season.

“I’ve been a veteran in this league for many years, so it’s about preparing for the task at hand and getting ready to get the win. I think this crowd needs it and I think, as a group, we need it as well. So we need to start getting some points here at home and I think Saturday will be a good start.”

Orlando City’s game on Saturday against the New York Red Bulls will broadcast live on UniMas and stream live on Twitter. Kickoff is set for 1 p.m.

(Photo via @JustinMeram)

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