Hailed as TopDrawerSoccer.com's top freshman playing for the University of Akron in 2011, the Crew Soccer Academy's Wil Trapp is continuing to impress with his abilities in the midfield. The Gahanna native recently spent time in Portland, Oregon in the United States U20 national team camp, where he stood out as one of head coach Tab Ramos' top midfielders.
"After having time off (following knee surgery in January), (Trapp) came back and blended right in again," said Crew technical director and U20 national team assistant coach Brian Bliss. "He was kind of the backbone of our three-man midfield system. because he reads the game well and he's a good organizer."
While the 4-3-3 system maybe new in the US national youth teams under Jurgen Klinsmann's supervision, Trapp is accustomed to playing the formation under Caleb Porter at Akron.
"(Trapp) is a decent ball handler. He can help us build out of the back," Bliss said of the 19 year old midfielder. "I think he understands the game pretty well, so he's a good organizer defensively. He's somebody you can play through. He's got a good duel role (in the midfield)."
Trapp feels he improved many facets of his game during his freshman season for the Zips on his way to being named Mid-Amercan Conference Newcomer of the Year.
"Since being here at Akron, I've improved a lot technically. That was the main thing in my game that was sticking out," the two-time Crew Soccer Academy Player of the Year said of his time playing for Porter. "Obviously, being technical and on the ball a lot that comes with touching the ball in training every day. Being put into a team concept an knowing my role and understanding how the importance of that role, I think that's what I've really improved on lately."
When the semester ends at Akron, Trapp will play with the Crew Soccer Academy for the summer. Both Bliss and Trapp acknowledge there are things the midfielder needs to work on during the summer and next season at Akron before he makes the transition to the next level.
"Some of the things we've talked to Wil about in terms of what he can add offensively is more playing balls forward and playing balls over distance. He's a good possession player and a lot of his stuff tends to be back and square. If he does go forward, it's in short distances. He's got to incorporate in his game some longer range passing where it's maybe diagonally forward or just more forward in general," Bliss said.
"He knows he's made strides in that area, but obviously it can be a bit better. He's working at it and he's conscious of it."
Trapp added, "(What I'm looking to improve) for this summer and next season is just becoming stronger, more tactically aware, and cleaner on the ball. All that stuff will come."
Be sure to follow the happenings of Trapp and the Crew Soccer Academy on Twitter: @CrewSocrAcademy.