Add the word "patience" to Justin Meram's lengthy and impressive soccer resume.
The with the lethal shot is patiently awaiting his moment to shine professionally for his new club.
Meram, a 2007 graduate, began his professional soccer career with the Crew this spring after being drafted in the first round (15th overall) of the Major League Soccer draft last January.
After graduating from Ike, Meram shined for two years at Yavapai College in Arizona where he was a standout striker at the junior college. He led his team to back-to-back NJCAA National Championships and was named National Junior College Player of the Year in 2008.
Meram transferred to the University of Michigan as a junior and was named All Big-Ten second team both his junior and senior years. He had two strong seasons as a Wolverine, posting 24 goals and 14 assists in 41 games.
But that's all in the past.
Meram now faces new challenges on the professional field, both physically and mentally.
The Crew are currently 2-1-3 in the young MLS season and Meram has yet to see the pitch.
"This has definitely been a positive experience for me," said Meram. "But it's tough coming in as a rookie. I'm learning to adjust to this new life and it takes a lot of patience. I just have to learn from the veterans, put my time in and work hard."
The rookie forward did log some playtime during the preseason with two second-half appearances for the Crew in their CONCACAF Champions League quarterfinal games against Real Salt Lake. The Columbus Crew are currently sitting third in the nine-team Eastern Conference.
"It's definitely different here than it was in high school and college," said Meram. "In school, our coaches were also our friends, our family. They were very supportive in every way. Here, it is more than just soccer. It's a business too. The coaching and training is tough and you have to be very strong mentally or you won't make it. I'm happy if the coach says two words to me on any given day."
Meram knows his chance to shine could come at any minute and he's ready.
"I've been working hard here because you never know when you will get called up," said Meram. "There could be injuries or other situations that happen. I am ready to make the most of it when I get my chance. My body is always ready and I'm working hard."
Meram credits his success thus far to the unwavering support he has here in Michigan.
"The number one reason I'm here today and have reached my ultimate goal of playing professionally is because of the support of my family and friends," said Meram. "I know that I have people that are here for me. It's nice that Columbus is close to my family in Michigan and they come down to the games."
As Meram continues to work hard for the Crew on his quest for professional playing time, he sends a bit of advice to the younger athletes back home in Macomb County.
"Follow your dreams, work hard and have lots of patience," said Meram. "Know that you can do whatever you want to do, especially with the support of your family and friends."
Follow Meram's progress through the MLS season at www.thecrew.com.