The Columbus Crew have signed midfielder Justin Meram to a multi-year contract extension, the club announced Thursday.
Meram, 28, is in his seventh season with Columbus, making him the club's longest-tenured player. The Iraq international has recorded 26 goals and 28 assists over 162 MLS appearances, including a career-high 14 assists last season.
The Crew used targeted allocation money in the deal to keep Meram's salary cap hit below the designated player threshold.
"Justin is a player that has become synonymous with Columbus Crew SC," coach and sporting director Gregg Berhalter said in a news release. "He has developed into one of the better playmakers in MLS over the last few years and one of the leaders at the club. We are excited to have him commit to the club and the city of Columbus as we seek to build on our rich history of success."
Meram added: "This contract extension means a lot to me. Having this club believe in me for multiple years to come is something that throughout my career I've worked hard to achieve. It's definitely an honor to have this extension, but I'm not going to take my foot off the gas — I'm going to strive for bigger and better things."