Sources: Portland not in race for Columbus' Justin Meram
The Portland Timbers are out of the running for Columbus Crew SC midfielder Justin Meram, multiple sources have told ESPN FC.
Meram, 29, made an offseason trade request from the Crew, and the Timbers were among the clubs that had shown interest, according to MLSSoccer.com.
That interest has cooled to the point that the Timbers are now looking elsewhere. Sources also stated that FC Dallas as well as two unknown Eastern Conference teams have also made bids, but Dallas' offer was rebuffed. The Crew is also doing what they can to convince Meram to stay according to sources.
Meram is entering his eighth professional season, all of which have been spent in Columbus. The last two campaigns have seen Meram enjoy particular success, scoring five goals and recording 13 assists in 2016, and then following that up with 13 goals and seven assists the following season. All told, Meram has recorded 40 goals and 35 assists in 200 league and playoff appearances.
Columbus reached the 2015 MLS Cup final, and made a deep playoff run last season, falling in the Eastern Conference finals to eventual MLS Cup champions Toronto FC.
But Columbus is exploring a possible relocation to Austin, Texas, and that has created some uncertainty around the organization.
Columbus recently traded away forward Ola Kamara to the LA Galaxy for midfielder/forward Gyasi Zardes and $400,000 in allocation money.