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Orlando City winger Justin Meram will not play against Columbus Crew

Apr 8, 2018; Orlando, FL, USA; Orlando City SC forward Justin Meram (9) during the second half at Orlando City Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

COLUMBUS, Ohio — Orlando City winger Justin Meram did not travel with the club for its match against his former team, Columbus Crew SC.

Meram hasn’t been in the 18 during either of Orlando City’s past two matches. This weekend’s match will mark the third time in a row Meram hasn’t been included anywhere in the Lions’ lineup.

Meram, who has dealt with fan criticism off the pitch this season after struggling to match his performances with the Crew last year, has one goal in league play this season for Orlando City.

Coach James O’Connor said there is still a place on the team for Meram despite the fact the embattled winger hasn’t played recently.

O’Connor added a few other players didn’t make the trip to Columbus, not just Meram.

“We don’t make any bold statements and say, ‘anyone’s in, anyone’s out,’” O’Connor said. “I think, for me, it’s very much day to day in training. Game to game. Everybody’s in. Just because you haven’t traveled today doesn’t mean you don’t play or you won’t be involved next week.

“There’s an opportunity for him when we get back to get training and to show us — not just Justin, but everyone — that you’re worthy of a spot. That’s how I operate.”

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