Crew: Get to know Justin Meram
The greatest heights of elation were reserved for Manchester City supporters last weekend, but Crew fans felt a rush of their own Saturday thanks to a 2-1 comeback win over visiting FC Dallas.
That five-game winless streak? Snapped. That 263-minute scoring drought? Vanquished. That weight pressing on everybody's shoulders? Lifted, for now.
Though Sebastian Miranda's miraculous 20-yard header was the game-winner and Goal of the Week candidate, forward Justin Meram was the engine behind the Crew's comeback.
"I was just hungry to make a difference," Meram said. "Somebody had to step up."
Meram was quick to credit his teammates - repeatedly - but when he subbed in for the injured Ethan Finlay just before halftime, Meram's energy clearly rejuvenated the Crew. He drew the second yellow card that resulted in ejection for Dallas defender Zach Loyd. Most importantly, his long-distance strike opened the floodgates for a team desperate for goals.
Meram had been going through a dry spell, too. After scoring 17 times as a senior at Michigan, he failed to tally during his rookie season with the Crew. His first professional goal was timely; what's more, Meram's brother predicted it in a dream.
"It was pretty crazy how it happened," Meram said. "He told me he doesn't really remember his dreams much, but for some reason he remembered that one. He said, 'Today's the day. Make my dreams come true.'"
Meram has aimed to satisfy Crew fans from day one. When the Crew drafted him, Meram instantly began reaching out to Crew fans through Facebook and Twitter. He tries to write back to all fan mail, and he's had to deal with only the occasional playful barb about his Wolverine heritage.
"That's rivalry, and that's fun," Meram said.
Justin Meram's favorite things
Music: Lately, Luke Bryan and Darius Rucker; The Fray to calm down before games "because I get too psyched"
Movie: As a kid, "The Mighty Ducks" and "3 Ninjas"; now, "The Boondock Saints" and "Taken"
Restaurant: Cafe Del Mondo and G. Michael's
Hobbies: Tennis with teammate Cole Grossman, golf with teammates and many, many movies
Columbus Crew at San Jose Earthquakes
10:30 p.m. Saturday, May 19
TV: Fox Sports Ohio