Ahead of the annual release of 24 Under 24, a ranking of the best players in the League under the age of 24, MLSsoccer.com's Andrew King profiled the Crew Homegrown Player.
The piece largely centers around Trapp's local ties and his affectionate nickname of "The Franchise." An excerpt:
"The Columbus Crew have had their share of legends.
But when Crew fans think of the biggest names who have come and gone for one of Major League Soccer’s founding franchises – Brian McBride, Jeff Cunningham, Frankie Hejduk, and Guillermo Barros Schelotto – there’s always been something missing.
McBride is from the Chicago suburbs, while Cunningham was born in Jamaica and grew up in Florida. Hejduk is California to the core and Schelotto spent most of his life in Argentina. None of the big names in the franchise’s rich history are from Columbus or even the state of Ohio, one of the great soccer hotbeds in the United States.
Wil Trapp is out to change that. He's a local kid from the Columbus surburbs and was something of an Ohio schoolboy soccer legend before he signed with the club in 2012. At 21, he still struggles to go grow hair on his face and carries around a somewhat diminutive 5-foot-8, 150-pound frame, but he’s already earned a fitting nickname inside the Crew locker room in just his second year on the team."
TheCrew.com will have more on Trapp later in the week, coinciding with the Thursday release of 24 Under 24.
Photo Credit: USA Today Sports Images
While the three points that the Crew earned on Saturday against New England were enormous in the context of the MLS Cup Playoff race, many of the Black & Gold's closest rivals also earned positive results as well. As such, the Crew experienced little movement in the national Power Rankings, even though there is no question that it's playing its best soccer of the year at the right time.
See below for this week's ranks and last week's position:
MLSsoccer.com: 10 (10)
ESPNFC: 11 (11)
SI.com: 10 (11)
Photo Credit: USA Today Sports Images
Recognized for their work in Saturday's 1-0 win over the New England Revolution, goalkeeper Steve Clark, defender Eric Gehrig and midfielder Tony Tchani earned Team of the Week honors for Week 28 on MLSsoccer.com. The Black & Gold are the only club with three players in this week's Best XI. The Crew also had three representatives in Week One and Week 23 following wins against D.C. United and the LA Galaxy, respectively.
Steve Clark's fingertip save to deny the New England Revolution's Charlie Davies and help the Crew to a 1-0 shutout victory on Saturday is nominated for Save of the Week on MLSsoccer.com. Clark's competition in this week's poll includes New England's Bobby Shuttleworth, New York's Luis Robles, D.C. United's Bill Hamid and Houston's Tyler Deric.
Voting ends at 2:59 a.m. on Friday.
Ashleigh Ignelzi joins Matt Finkes every week for Massive Monday on 95.5 The Game.
Federico Higuain continues to lead MLS in corner kicks this season (121). His career high for a single season was 123 last year, which he is on-pace to potentially break this weekend. Overall, Higuain is third on the Crew’s all-time list for corners, trailing Robert Warzycha (503) and Guillermo Barros Schelotto (423).
Six Crew players 25 years old and younger have at least 19 chances created, per Opta (Finlay: 26, Trapp: 21, Jimenez: 21, Tchani: 20, Francis: 20, Meram: 19). No other team has more than three players with that type of chance creation.
Josh Williams (#3) was taken off the Disabled List this week after missing significant time. He was placed on the disabled list on July 18 following a surgery to remove a rib following a blood clot. Overall in 2014, Williams has made 14 appearances -- including 13 starts -- at rightback and has recorded one assist.
RETURNING HOME TO CONTINUE CREW STADIUM DOMINANCE
The Black & Gold return home this weekend looking to build off of the success of late at Crew Stadium ... in the last three home games dating back to August 16, the Crew has been victorious, outscoring its opponents by a score of 10-1 in wins over the LA Galaxy, Houston Dynamo and Chivas USA ... the club has three home matches re- maining in the 2014 regular-season ... after the two-match homestand against the Revs (Saturday) and Montreal Impact (September 27), the Crew is on the road for three consecutive weekends before closing out the regular-season in a home clash against the Philadelphia Union on October 26.
CREW HAS HAD REVS’ NUMBER OF LATE ...
Saturday’s meeting will be the 62nd regular-season clash between the two teams, the Crew’s most-faced opponent during the season since 1996 ... the Crew’s 30 wins (30-20-11) against the Revs are the most versus any opponent in Black & Gold history, more than D.C. United (24 wins against), New York (24 wins against) or Sporting KC (21 wins).
... AND A STRONG STRETCH AGAINST THE REVS HAS HELPED
Although the Revs won the regular-season series in 2013 with three victories, the Black & Gold have found success against the Revs over the last eight seasons, return- ing to form with the victory in Foxborough on July 26, 2014 ... in the last 19 meetings, dating back to 2007, the Crew is 9-6-4 against the Revs ... during that stretch, the Revs won the regular-season series once: last year ... other than that, the Crew has won the regular-season series four times and the two teams have split results two other times ... from 1996 through 2000, and again from 2002 through 2006, the two conference foes met four times a year.