In 2011, Wil Trapp and Chad Barson were leading their college team, the Akron Zips, in the Mid-American Conference. Both were filled with potential, and had seen United States National Team action with U-18 teams. The pair both played high school soccer in Columbus, and in Saturday's match against the New York Red Bulls, both started for the Columbus Crew, the third time the pair had started the same match this season.
"It is pretty cool, especially because we both came from Akron and played together there for two years," Barson said. "Now that we've both transitioned to this at the same time and we're starting to get significant minutes together, it's a pretty neat opportunity for us, especially both being from Columbus."
While Barson has impressed in his starts at fullback after defensive injuries and a thin roster, Trapp's sporadic time with the club due to U-20 National Team duties muddled his season outlook early on, and the midfielder said that he wasn't sure if he would see the field for the Crew in 2013.
"Being gone so much with the U-20s, it was tough to really gauge exactly what was going to happen in the future," he said. "But in the back of my mind I was hoping that this would be the case. I'm just happy that it's happened, but there's plenty of room for improvement."
Crew Head Coach Robert Warzycha said that while he knew the pair of young players had talent, they forced his hand by performing well in training and showing their worth.
"They gave me enough confidence to put them on the field. They're doing it for themselves," he said. "They're good players and they're playing the way we like it. They're still in the learning process of the game, and they're getting experience, but they've been doing good enough to be on the field."
Despite Barson's solid defensive play, Trapp was the player who found the highlight reel Saturday by notching his first career assist with a pass to forward Federico Higuain resulting in a Goal of the Week nomination for the Argentinian. Trapp said that getting his first point was certainly a highlight.
"Getting the assist was pretty awesome. [Higuain] made a great run and a great finish," he said. "We did well to win the ball back in the midfield, and on a quick transition play I took a touch past one of their players and saw [Higuain] making a run and just slipped it in front of him and he did the rest."