Justin Meram is on the move to the Western Conference for the first time in his career.
Real Salt Lake signed the veteran winger on Tuesday, replenishing its depleted winger options for the 2020 season. Meram last played with Atlanta United in 2019, helping the club to a U.S. Open Cup and Campeones Cup.
“Justin is a versatile, accomplished attacking player in our league,” Real Salt Lake general manager Elliot Fall said. “He has proven year after year to be productive in multiple roles and that experience will provide excellent value to our young roster.”
The 31-year-old has 43 goals and 37 assists to his name in 243 career MLS regular season matches. Meram began his career with the Columbus Crew, eventually spending seven-and-a-half seasons with the club. In 2019, Meram scored four league goals in 20 appearances.
Meram will be called on to help replace some of the production lost due to the departures of Jefferson Savarino, Sebastian Saucedo and Joao Plata this winter.
Real Salt Lake is looking to build on its third-place finish in the West in 2019.
Minnesota United lands Schoenfeld
After losing two forwards over the past four months, Minnesota United added an experienced option to the mix on Wednesday.
The club signed forward Aaron Schoenfeld from Israeli Premier League side Maccabi Tel Aviv after acquiring his MLS rights from the Columbus Crew. In exchange, the Loons sent Columbus a second round 2021 MLS SuperDraft Pick and could send additional considerations if Schoenfeld meets certain performance-based metrics.
“Aaron give us extra strength and depth at the forward position,” MNUFC head coach Adrian Heath said. “He’s been in the league, he’s experienced. And we know that during the year, Mason [Toye] will be at the Olympics and the strength and depth is going to be necessary. Between Aaron, [Luis] Amarilla and Mason, we feel as though we’re in a really good spot. He’s a little bit different than what we have: he’s 6’4”, he’s very good with his back to the goal, he’s good coming on late in games if we need to put balls in the box.”
Schoenfeld has spent the last four seasons in Israel, scoring four goals in 46 appearances. The forward was drafted by the Montreal Impact in the 2012 MLS Supplemental Draft and acquired by the Crew the next year. In total, Schoenfeld has made 51 MLS appearances, scoring five goals.
He joins Mason Toye and Luis Amarilla in the striker pool in Minnesota.
Atlanta United sign winger Castro on loan
Atlanta United continued to acquire South American talent for the upcoming MLS season.
The club signed winger Manuel Castro on loan from Argentina Primera Division side Club Estudiantes de La Plata. Castro’s loan will last through the end of June with a club option to extend to the end of the calendar year. He will occupy an international roster slot on the Five Stripes roster.
Castro, 24, joins Atlanta United after totaling 110 professional appearances between Uruguay and Argentina’s top divisions. In his time in both Argentina and Uruguay, Castro has scored 19 goals while also appearing in the Copa Sudamericana and Copa Libertadores.
Impact adds Maciel following Piatti departure
On the same night that the Montreal Impact bid farewell to star Ignacio Piatti, the club said hello to a new Argentine midfielder.
The Impact acquired midfielder Emanuel Maciel on a free transfer from Argentine club San Lorenzo. It was part of a deal between the two clubs with Piatti now heading to San Lorenzo for the next chapter of his career.
Maciel, 22, played one game in the Superliga with San Lorenzo, playing all 90 minutes in the season opener against Godoy Cruz in July 2019. He previously played with San Lorenzo’s Under-20 team and will hope to make a name for himself in Thierry Henry’s squad.
Loons loan St. Clair to San Antonio FC
Minnesota United goalkeeper Dayne St. Clair is heading on loan for the 2020 MLS season.
The club announced the loan move on Wednesday, sending St. Clair to USL Championship side San Antonio FC. Minnesota United has the right to recall St. Clair at any time throughout the duration of the loan.
“This is a great opportunity for Dayne. The most important thing for him and his continued development is to get games under his belt,” MNUFC head coach Adrian Heath said. “He’ll be working with a great team, a good system with a fantastic staff. We expect big things from Dayne, and this is the right move at the right time.”
St. Clair joined the Loons from the University of Maryland, after leading the Terrapins to the 2018 NCAA National Championship. He featured in three international friendlies for the Loons in 2019, while also making five appearances on loan at Minnesota’s USL affiliate, Forward Madison.