COLUMBUS — Columbus Crew SC today announced that three of its players have received international call-ups: Waylon Francis, Justin Meram and Aboubacar Keita. Francis is slated to join Costa Rica for international friendlies against Guatemala on March 22 and against Jamaica on March 26. Meram is scheduled to join Iraq ahead of friendly contests against Syria on March 22 and Jordan on March 26. Keita is set to join the United States Under-20 Men’s National Team for friendlies against France on March 23 and against Japan on March 25. The announcement brings the total Crew SC international call-ups this week to six after Zack Steffen, Wil Trapp and Gyasi Zardes received call-ups to the U.S. Men’s National Team senior roster on Tuesday.
Costa Rica is scheduled to face Guatemala in an international friendly on Friday, March 22 at Estadio Nacional Doroteo Guamuch Flores in Guatemala City, Guatemala, before facing Jamaica on Tuesday, March 26 in a friendly at Estadio Nacional de Costa Rica in San Jose, Costa Rica. Francis has earned six caps for Los Ticos to date, with his most recent appearance coming in a friendly against the U.S. Men’s National Team at Avaya Stadium in San Jose, California on February 2 of this year. Francis has made 85 regular-season appearances (77 starts) for the Black & Gold while providing 19 assists.
Iraq is set to host the International Friendship Championship from March 22 - March 26 at Basra Sports City in Basra, Iraq. The Lions of Mesopotamia are set to face Syria on Friday, March 22 and Jordan on Tuesday, March 26. To date, Meram has earned 28 caps for Iraq. Meram’s most recent appearance for the Lions of Mesopotamia came in a friendly against Saudi Arabia on October 15, 2018. Meram has made 199 regular-season appearances (143 starts) for the Crew while scoring 38 goals and providing 34 assists. Notably, he is fifth on the Club’s list of all-time regular-season appearances.
The U.S. U-20 National Team is slated to hold a training camp in Pinatar, Spain from March 18-26. As part of the camp, the American squad will participate in friendlies against France’s U-20 side on Saturday, March 23 and against Japan’s U-20 team on Monday, March 25. Keita, 18, joined the Crew First Team as a Homegrown Player on January 22, 2019. A product of Crew SC Academy, Keita made 43 appearances (42 starts) for Crew SC Academy from 2016-2018 before playing for the University of Virginia. Keita started every match for the University of Virginia in 2018, making 17 appearances (all starts) and scoring one goal.
Crew SC’s current roster features seven players that have received a senior National Team call-up while with the club: Harrison Afful, Waylon Francis, Jonathan Mensah, Justin Meram, Zack Steffen, Wil Trapp and Gyasi Zardes.