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Jun 302013


He’s not quite old enough to drink, but Wil Trapp can help the Columbus Crew find success this season.

The Columbus Crew signed Trapp, one of their Academy graduates, to a Homegrown deal in the offseason. Unfortunately, he has spent much time with the Crew organization. He has been competing for his country as he represented the United States U-20 squad in the FIFA U-20 World Cup. Trapp started all three of the US’s group games as a central midfielder and even wore the captain’s armband for one. His performance was simply average. He didn’t blow anyone away, but he also wasn’t terrible enough to lose his starting spot either.

Still, the youngster has a golden opportunity to help get the senior Crew team back on track.

The Crew just lost 3-2 away to Kansas City after scoring game-tying goals twice in the second half only to see their effort go unrewarded in the end. The entire organization appears to be wilting under the heat of a fan base that expected a much better start to the season. There are whispers of players questioning head coach Robert Warzycha and his rigid tactics/team selections. He is in the final year of his contract and his future with the team is unknown. The team continues to be the subject of rumors concerning player movement as the international transfer window opens. Such whispers persist, despite the front office reiterating that the team does not have the salary cap space to make a big move.

But the team does not need to look beyond their walls for help; they have it in the form of one of their Homegrown signings from this off-season. Trapp offers them a solution to one of their biggest issues: central midfield. Danny O’Rourke may be needed in central defense, Matias Sanchez has a temper that has already landed him a one game suspension due to yellow card accumulation. Tony Tchani and Konrad Warzycha leave a lot to be desired. Trapp, however, is a natural central midfielder. He is very comfortable on the ball for a player his age and is an excellent distributor who can also shoot from distance when needed.

Perhaps more important than his tactical fit into Warzycha’s preferred 4-4-1-1 formation is his work ethic. There was a point before the US U-20 team began their preparations for the World Cup in Turkey when Trapp came back to Columbus. Rather than take the  next day off after landing in Ohio very late the night before, he chose to train with the first team. He is mature and professional beyond his years. He knows exactly what it will take to earn a spot in the first team. Unlike many of his teammates, he is also too young to let his attitude be influenced by the coaching staff. Despite dressing with the first team occasionally, his age puts him at the bottom of the food chain. He has no choice but to completely set aside any sort of positive or negative feelings towards Robert Warzycha and, to a certain extent, the rest of the team. He will come in and work his ass off and he’ll do it without a single word coming out of his mouth. Because that’s the only way he’s getting playing time this year.

That is exactly the sort of influence this teams right now. They need something (or in this case someone) who can make them forget about all the recent poor results and the well documented shortcomings of their current head coach. Wil Trapp can help push this team through the adversity they are facing. He’ll make the guys around him work that extra little bit; after all, who wants to look lazy next to a kid who can’t buy himself a beer yet.

Whether or not Warzycha is willing to use Trapp upon his return from Turkey is unclear, but Trapp nearly earned his first appearance about a month ago when he was called up to the touch line to replace a shaken up Matias Sanchez, only to be waved off by the feisty Argentine.

Let’s hope that Warzycha can get at least ONE thing right and give this young man an opportunity to shine.

And while we’re dreaming, this formation would be ideal…


Williams – Marshall – Gehrig – Wahl


Higuain – Trapp

Oduro – Arrieta – Meram

Despite his temper, Sanchez is still the bulldog who dispossesses the opposing team so he needs to be tucked in behind Higuain and Trapp. Trapp has the technical ability to not only setup a three-man front line, but also to combine with the venerable Higuain in midfield. Justin Meram has the creative instincts to play out wide in a three-man forward line and Arrieta is the ideal point man in the middle.

This formation may be unconventional, but that doesn’t mean playing Trapp has to be. Time will tell if Warzycha decides to shake things up.

Adam Uthe

VP of Content Development for GFT and proud supporter of Columbus Crew (MLS) and Liverpool FC (EPL). @AUtheGFT

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