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Will Justin Meram wear no. 9 for RSL? Signs point to yes.

Newcastle United v Columbus Crew - Pre Season Friendly Photo by Jamie Sabau/Getty Images

Real Salt Lake has yet to reveal Justin Meram’s kit number in an official capacity, but it’s sure looking like he’s already been given a fairly prestigious number.

And it’s a number he wouldn’t have had the opportunity to wear had he been signed last offseason.

That’s not because somebody was wearing it, of course. No, it’s not that.

It’s the no. 9 kit.

You know, the one Jason Kreis wore, and the one former RSL owner Dave Checketts retired?

Yeah, that one.

Meram wearing the number is an interesting move. It brings the number back to the team, but it doesn’t pin it on a striker. That’s an interesting move, and it’s not an unprecedented one in world soccer.

Of course, it’s also possible they just needed a shirt with a number on it for ... reasons. But something tells me that’s not terribly likely.

Justin Meram, of course, isn’t what we’d think of as a “traditional no. 9,” which often describes a center forward, and more often these days describes a specific style of center forward. That’s all based on the old use of kit numbers as positional and not player-specific, so it’s very much a bygone tradition to which we still sometimes cling.

Anyway, does this really matter? No, of course not. But that’s the fun of sports. Most of it doesn’t matter at all, in the grand scheme of things. But things not mattering has personally never stopped me from making a big deal out of it. Things are more fun that way.

So, you tell me. What does this matter? Does it matter?