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Meram provides hat trick to down Montreal, qualify for 30-30 club

justin meram.jpg

MONTREAL -- Midfielder Justin Meram recorded his first-ever career hat trick in today’s match to bring his 2017 MLS season total to seven goals. With 31 goals and 30 assists in 166 regular-season appearances (114 starts), Meram is now one of only six Crew SC players to have registered at least 30 goals and 30 assists for the club.

The other players on this list are Jeff Cunningham (64 goals, 44 assists), Brian McBride (41 goals, 39 assists), Guillermo Schelotto (33 goals, 41 assists) and teammates Federico Higuain (43 goals, 39 assists) and Ethan Finlay (30 goals, 30 assists). With seven goals and four assists through 12 matches this season, Meram has already surpassed his 2016 goal total (five).

With a hat trick in tonight’s game, Justin Meram became the seventh player to score three or more goals in one regular-season match for the Black & Gold. The other players on this list are Edson Buddle, Stern John (five times for Crew SC), Brian Maisonneuve, Ross Paule, Dante Washington and Ola Kamara. This was the eleventh time that a hat trick was recorded for the club in regular-season action.

Tonight’s match against Montreal marked the third time that Justin Meram scored two or more goals in one regular-season game, as well as the second time he has scored multiple goals in one match this season. He previously recorded braces in a 3-0 win against Chivas USA (September 7, 2014) and in a 2-0 victory over Orlando City SC (April 1, 2017), both in home contests at MAPFRE Stadium.

Forward Kekuta Manneh made his first regular-season start for Crew SC in tonight’s match, playing 63 minutes. It was Manneh’s second appearance for the club following a substitute appearance in the Black & Gold’s home match against New York City FC (April 29).

Forward Adam Jahn made his first start of the 2017 MLS for the Black & Gold in tonight’s match, playing 89 minutes. It was Jahn’s first start for the club since a road contest against New York City FC last season (October 23, 2016).

Midfielder Artur made his first appearance for the club since suffering a wrist injury in a road contest against the New York Red Bulls earlier this season (April 22). He made a start for the Black & Gold and played the entire 90 minutes in today’s match.

Today’s match marked the 15th all-time regular-season meeting between the Black & Gold and the Impact. With the win, Crew SC’s all-time regular-season record against the Impact is now 7-5-3. It was the Black & Gold’s sixth victory of the 2017 MLS season and their second regular-season road win of the year.

Crew SC next plays on Sunday, May 21 when it travels to Gillette Stadium to take on the New England Revolution for the second of two regular-season matches in 2017 (5:00 p.m. ET / The CW Columbus, Spectrum Sports, BCSN2, CD102.5 FM, La Mega 103.1 FM, English radio stream on ColumbusCrewSC.com).

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