Crew players Josh Williams, Andy Gruenebaum, Konrad Warzycha, Ben Speas, Shawn Sloan and Ethan Finlay spent Monday afternoon playing games and hanging out with children from the Down Syndrome Association of Central Ohio at Dave & Buster’s. The Black & Gold will work again with the DSACO when Crew Stadium will host its annual Buddy Walk on Sunday, September 22.
Channeling Springsteen, check out the latest from Sloan and the Keepers: "Born Near Ohio State"
Crew Homegrown defender Chad Barson joined the Children Defense Fund’s Freedom Schools program to read aloud and talk to children about the importance of reading on Monday morning. The reading comes just two weeks before The Crew launches its Get a Kick Out of Reading program that runs during the month of August.
For more information on how to participate in this program and to download the reading score sheet, please visit www.thecrew.com/read.
The Crew will travel North to Toronto for the second match of the 2013 Trillium Cup presented by Scotts on Saturday (2:00 p.m. ET / FOX Sports Ohio). The Black & Gold have lost just once in nine meetings with Toronto FC, including a 1-0 win at BMO Field on May 17.
Here are the highlights from that match.
The Crew took down the Reds 1-0 at BMO Field in the 2013 Trillium Cup opener between the two Eastern Conference rivals. Federico Higuaín slotted a perfectly weighted through ball to the speedy Dominic Oduro, who then split two defenders for the game's only tally just before halftime. Oduro's goal ended a two-match scoreless drought for the Black & Gold, propelling his team to the victory.
The Columbus Crew welcomed special guest Lucas Swanson to Crew Stadium on Saturday night through the club's Leukemia and Lymphoma Society Hero program. Making this night especially memorable was the opportunity he had to meet with Crew goalkeeper and lymphoma survivor Matt Lampson and New England Revolution defender Kevin Alston, who recently made a return to his club after a being diagnosed with a rare but treatable form of leukemia in April, after the match. Lampson also serves as the local spokesperson for the LLS of Central Ohio.
Friday is the last day for Crew Digital Content Editor TJ Ansley as he prepares for a new opportunity as the Director of Digital Media with the Portland Trail Blazers of the NBA. Ansley joined the Black & Gold front office in February 2010, overseeing TheCrew.com and the club's social media accounts in the time since.
Thank you for your hard work and best of luck in Portland, TJ!
On Saturday, the Crew hosts New England Revolution in the first of three matches this season between the two sides in 2013. The Black & Gold went 1-1-1 against the Revs last season in 2012, here is a look back at the series last season.
Andy Gruenebaum made six saves to extend the Crew's unbeaten run to begin the summer of 2012 to six matches as the Crew battled the Revolution to a 0-0 draw at Gillette Stadium. While the Black & Gold attack only mustered three shots on target, the team's stellar defensive play was enough to earn the road point.
After surrendering two goals within the first 23 minutes, it seemed the Crew was headed for certain defeat in its second meeting of the season with the Revolution. But two Federico Higuaín free-kick tallies with a Jairo Arrieta counter-attack strike saw the Black & Gold head into halftime with a 3-2 advantage. The Revs would draw level in the 81st minute following a Lee Nguyen penalty kick, but Arrieta would net his second goal of the match five minutes later to lift the Crew to victory.
Playing its sixth match in 18 days, the Crew traveled to New England in search of a fifth-straight win. However, fatigue was a factor as the Black & Gold allowed an early second-half goal followed by an own goal to hand the Revolution its first win in two months.
Described as the “crown jewel” of the Crew Youth Academy by Columbus Crew Technical Director, Brian Bliss, Homegrown Player Wil Trapp has been the subject of some high praise recently.
Following his MLS debut, where he started and played the full 90 minutes in a 1-0 victory over Portland, Crew Head Coach Robert Warzycha had equally high plaudits for the 20-year-old.
“We knew that when it was time he could step on the field and do a good job. He’s a good player,” said Warzycha postgame last Sunday. “He played for the Academy and we signed him because we knew what he could do and what kind of player he is.
“He grew up here, in Columbus, so we knew when it was time he could step on the field and do a good job. He's a good player.”
Playing as the lone holding midfielder, in a slightly altered Crew formation, Trapp impressed in his MLS debut. He completed the highest percentage of passes of any player on the pitch (86.0%) and won the ball back for the Crew twice as many times as conceded possession (17 wins to 8 losses). The new formation perhaps suited Trapp, who had a similar role while Portland’s Head Coach, Caleb Porter, while at the University of Akron.
Porter is not surprised that Trapp has continued to impress in his young career since leaving Akron. “He’s got a bright future. Obviously I had him on my radar, recruitment wise, for a long time, being at Akron, and being that he was an Ohio guy. I knew he would do well at the professional level.”
“He’s a very technical player. He’s a player that tactically gets it,” said Porter of his former midfielder postgame. “He’s a smart player. Technically and tactically he’s one of the most talented players I’ve ever been with.
Trapp demonstrated his tactical awareness and that despite his age, the Gahanna product is able to perform on the big stage. In two seasons at Akron, Trapp started all 55 matches, tallying one goal and eight assists from his deep-lying midfield role. Perhaps his greatest attribute, however, is his ability to control the midfield. His strength and positioning on and off the ball allows for his teammates in the midfield more freedom to operate.
In his two seasons at Akron, midfielders scored almost half of the team’s goals as the Zips found 40 of a total 94 goals (42.6%) from midfielder contributions. So it should come as no surprise to Crew fans that in Trapp’s first MLS start, a midfielder scored as winger Bernardo Anor netted his second tally in as many contests.
Trapp’s return to Columbus comes on the heels of U-20 World Cup experience in Turkey, where he started all three matches and captained the United States in the clash against France. While on international duty, Trapp has made a strong impression on U.S. Soccer, as he is the only U-20 men’s player to make an appearance in every match in 2013.
Time will tell how Trapp is utilized in Warzycha’s lineup, but Sunday was a strong demonstration as his debut in front of the Black & Gold fans earned the rookie “Barbasol Man of the Match” honors.
Former OSU Buckeye and Wigan Athletic midfielder Roger Espinoza talks about coming back to Columbus.