A week into training camp, the Crew is hard at work in preparation for its first preseason trip of 2012. The Black & Gold will depart for Bradenton, Fla., on Tuesday, Jan. 31, and will remain there until Feb. 16. While in Florida, the Crew will play matches against other teams training in the area, the first three of which have been scheduled.
The Black & Gold will face storied Swedish first division side Malmö FF on Feb. 4 and Feb. 8, followed by the Seattle Sounders on Feb. 15 (schedule subject to change). Malmö is the club that launched the career of international superstar Zlatan Ibrahimovic, among others. It will be in Florida preparing for the 2012 Allsvenskan season, which also runs from March through November.
The Crew is expected to add matches in Florida that will be announced as they are finalized.
DUKA RETURNS TO COLUMBUS AFTER STINT AT U-23 TRAINING CAMP
Crew midfielder Dilly Duka is expected to join his Black & Gold teammates ahead of the Florida trip after completing the recent U-23 National Team camp in preparation of CONCACAF Olympic qualifiers. Duka, who has been in every U-23 camp since head coach Caleb Porter took over, had an impressive showing in the last two matches in Costa Rica, playing 67 minutes in scoreless draw against the Saprissa reserves on Jan. 21, and recording a game-winning assist in the final match of the camp, a 1-0 win over Alajuelense on Jan. 24.
RENTERIA EXPECTED TO JOIN CAMP THIS WEEK AFTER VENEZUELA FRIENDLIES
Crew forward Emilio Renteria has completed his stint with the Venezuela National Team and is expected to return to Columbus before the Crew travels to Bradenton, Fla. Renteria featured in the match against the USA last Saturday, Jan. 21, playing the last 12 minutes of a 1-0 loss. The Crew forward did not play in the 3-1 loss against Mexico on Wednesday, Jan. 25.
CREW SOCCER ACADEMY’S WIL TRAPP PARTICIPATES IN U.S. U-20 CAMP
CSA standout and University of Akron midfielder Wil Trapp participated in U.S. U-20 Men’s National Team camp in Ft. Lauderdale, Fla., earlier this month. The U-20s are preparing for 2013 U-20 FIFA World Cup Qualifiers to be held in early 2013. Trapp was called in by head coach Tab Ramos, on the heels of his first collegiate season in which earned 2011 Freshman All-America and MAC Newcomer of the Year laurels, after being named the 2010 NSCAA National High School Player of the Year.