The leading individual storyline heading into the matchup with Toronto FC was that captain Wil Trapp was going to be making his 100th MLS regular-season appearance with Columbus Crew SC. Nothing’s official until it’s official, and shortly after 8 p.m, it was apparent that Trapp had avoided random misfortune, whether it be food poisoning, stepping into a pothole, or a Trevor Bauer-like drone maintenance accident. He was indeed part of the starting XI, and once the game kicked off, he became the 27th player in club history to appear in 100 games.
Trapp went the full 90 minutes in the Black & Gold’s 2-1 comeback victory over Toronto FC. For Crew SC Sporting Director and Head Coach Gregg Berhalter, he thought the 24-year-old captain made the most of his milestone appearance.
“I think it’s a great hundredth game,” Berhalter said. “Wil had an excellent performance, I thought. His tenacity to make plays, to make it difficult on the opponent was certainly there, and then on the ball, nice and controlled. It was a special hundredth game. Again, Toronto is a good opponent. It was a very difficult game and it’s good to get the win.”
As one might expect, Trapp’s teammates were thrilled for him.
“Fantastic milestone, fantastic player, fantastic captain,” said Justin Meram, who scored the game-winning goal in Trapp’s milestone match. “All in all, a fantastic guy. Seeing him when he used to train with us when he was at Akron, you could tell that he was special. He’s doing special things by leading us on the biggest stages. It’s special to see. I’m proud to be his teammate and his friend. This is just the beginning for him.”
Josh Williams remembered when the Gahanna native and Crew SC Academy product would train with the Black & Gold during his high school and college years.
“He’s one of those guys that I never thought would make it.” Williams said with a straight face, before bursting into a laugh. “Just kidding. The first week he trained with us when he was in high school or college, you could see something different. He wasn’t in awe of anybody. He was mature beyond his years, and he was just a kid. And to be honest, he hasn’t changed that much. He’s always stayed steady. He’s one of the hardest working guys that I’ve met. Me personally, I always try to keep guys like that around me. He rubs off on you. He’s always positive. And if someone’s slacking or the team is slacking, he gives everybody a kick in the butt. He’s younger than me, but I have no problem saying that I look up to a guy like that. 100 games is a (heck) of an accomplishment and I’m proud of him.”
Crew SC legend, Circle of Honor member, Massive Champion, and former captain Frankie Hejduk was happy to welcome current captain Trapp into the list of players who have represented the city at least 100 times, especially since Trapp literally represents Columbus.
“What a great moment for him,” Hejduk said, “but to be honest, what a great moment for Columbus to see a local kid do whatever everyone’s dream is, which is to play for their hometown. If there was ever a guy that ever deserved it, it’s Wil. He’s the consummate professional. He’s well-spoken, he does his work on the field, he’s always trying to get better, and that’s what you want as a captain. I’m happy for him, and his family’s super cool. To get a win against Toronto in that 100th cap, and his family was there, so it was good vibes. To be honest, it was good vibes that I felt in the locker room before that game, that the team was in good hands with Wil. I’m happy for him and psyched that he’s with us and we’ll see what the future holds for him.”
Trapp grew up watching Crew SC matches, but my attempts to link him to other 100-game players like Brian McBride, Mike Clark, Robert Warzycha, Chad Marshall, and Hejduk did little to overwhelm him with the magnitude of the moment. Rather, despite his youth, he reflected on the passage of time.
“It goes quick, man,” he said. “It goes really quick. You wish it didn’t go so fast. I think what I am happiest about is the 100th game coming in a game like this where we worked extremely hard and won the game.”
I was trying to focus on the importance of the bigger picture of his 100th appearance, like someone who loves history. Trapp focused on the importance of the immediate present.
Like a captain.
Columbus Crew SC next visits the New York Red Bulls on April 22 for a 7:30 p.m. ET kickoff. The Black & Gold return to MAPFRE Stadium on April 29 for a 7:30 p.m. ET kickoff against Andrea Pirlo, David Villa and New York City FC.