Robert Warzycha
USA Today Sports

Warzycha turns to youth with O'Rourke out against Rapids

COLUMBUS – Columbus Crew head coach Robert Warzycha will have to count on some fresh faces in the center of his midfield this week.

Danny O'Rourke sprained his left ankle early against D.C. United on April 27 but gutted through that game and last week's loss vs. New York Red Bulls. But the veteran central midfielder's injury will keep him out Saturday when the Crew hosts the Colorado Rapids (7:30 pm ET, FREE on MLS Live), opening the way for a relatively inexperienced player to move into his spot alongside Tony Tchani.

The most intriguing option is 20-year-old Wil Trapp, a heralded Homegrown signee in the offseason who in March helped the US qualify for next month's FIFA U-20 World Cup in Turkey.

BUY TICKETS: Crew vs. Rapids - May 11

Trapp's ascension up the Crew depth chart was hurt when he missed some valuable training in late April to attend a U-20 camp, and he has yet to play an MLS match.

"It's not ideal coming and going, especially jelling and getting into the rhythm of the team, but I've got a pretty good grasp now," Trapp told "I feel at home now."

Still, the first choice for Warzycha might be his son, Konrad.

"We have a lot of possibilities, like Konrad," the elder Warzycha said. "Kevan George can play there. So can [Matias] Sánchez and Wil is doing well."

Konrad Warzycha played six minutes in two substitute roles in the past two matches to add to his one brief appearance for Sporting Kansas City last season. George has totaled 16 minutes this season but hasn't played in the past two games. He had four starts among seven appearances as a rookie in 2012.

Recent arrival Sánchez, on the other hand, is an enigma. He was a highly-sought offseason signing but the 25-year-old, a member of Argentina's U-20 World Cup-winning team in 2007, has been slow to adjust to MLS in his first season and has just 37 minutes in four games, but only two in the past four matches.

READ: Tchani settles into midfield role for Columbus

"He's getting better and better but it's up to the player to show he deserves to be on the field," Robert Warzycha said. "I can't do that for him."

Warzycha would have inserted Agustín Viana for O'Rourke but the Uruguayan, who paired with O'Rourke for the first seven matches, is out for a second straight game because of a hamstring injury.

With those two sidelined it could be time for Trapp to debut on Saturday, even if it's just for a few minutes.

"There's definitely going to be some butterflies," he said. "It's not a nervousness, just an anxiousness to see what I can do."


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