HERRIMAN, Utah (Saturday, March 19, 2022) – Real Salt Lake forward Justin Meram has been called in to the Iraq National Team for World Cup Qualifying matches against Syria and United Arab Emirates. Meram is expected to depart following RSL’s match against Nashville SC and return prior to the team’s road trip to Colorado Rapids on April 2.
“Anytime you get called back to your national team you are excited and thankful for the opportunity,” Meram said. “I was only retired for a short period but after conversations with the federation and coach Shahad, they expressed the importance of these two final qualifiers. It was important I accepted the call-up and I must now give my all for my beautiful country.”
Meram, 33, has started in all three of Real Salt Lake’s contests to start the 2022 season, posting a 2-0-1 record, one of the Club’s best starts to a season. In 55 appearances with RSL, Meram has scored five goals and added eight assists. The forward is just two appearances away from reaching the 300 games-played mark, having played for Atlanta United, Columbus Crew and Orlando City prior to coming to Utah.
In 35 appearances for Iraq, Meram has four goals, three of which have come in World Cup Qualifying matches. He made his debut in 2014, and recently competed with the team in World Cup Qualifying matches against Iran and South Korea in September of 2021.
In Round 3 of World Cup Qualifying for the Asian Football Confederation, Iraq is in Group A with Iran, South Korea, United Arab Emirates, Syria and Lebanon. The top two teams from each of the AFC’s two groups will qualify for the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar, with the third place teams advancing to the fourth round. Iraq is currently in fifth place, but still in contention for a spot in the fourth round to advance to the World Cup. Iraq’s lone World Cup appearance came in 1986 in Mexico.