“Definitely, I mean, that was six years ago now, so it’s a little bit different, but the concepts are still similar,” Trapp said on reuniting with his former college coach at the University of Akron.
Among those concepts – dominating on and off the ball, according to Trapp.
“[At Akron], we were always stepping onto the field wanting to win and dominate a game, every single time, and that’s something you want to feel as a player,” Trapp said.
“You want to feel as 11 players on the field, as one unit competing, but knowing we want to dominate the opponent. And all that comes from keeping the ball, and then when we lose it, being as proactive as possible to win it back as quickly as we can. So those concepts in college, I remember being a big sticking point for us, and I mean that’s the pursuit for us now, is to just mold this group into a team that can really dominate the play even more so with the ball like we have in years prior, but then to win it back as quickly as we can.”
With a new system, a learning curve still comes into play, as well as a chance for more collaboration and dialogue between the staff and players.
“But for [Caleb], I think he’s found a way to connect to the players in a very positive way, but to get his message across in a concise way, as well, that’s easy for professionals to adapt to, right, where you are not always just college kids that are gonna lap up every little thing,” Trapp said. “I mean, yes, we still want to learn but we also feel like we know things as well so he’s more collaborative, I think.”
A self-noted psychology guy, Porter’s emphasis on leadership and his relationship with Trapp go hand-in-hand.
“Today, just hearing Wil as a leader, you know it’s almost like a coach on the field, and I need that,” Porter said. “I need guys that are gonna be an extension of me. I know Wil very well. There’s a great trust there. He knows how to work. He knows what I believe in. So that really helps in this transition to have a guy like that who is your captain being able to get that buy-in to the guys and just to help in the transition, guys understand what I mean.”
With the leadership and foundation in place, the past few weeks have been a welcoming introduction to progressing towards an AP-level of training.
“I think for him, it’s great, because the way he wants to play the game we’ve been doing for a long time, so the foundation, so-to-speak, of our knowledge base is already there,” Trapp said. “I think [Caleb] said it, he’s not teaching pre-algebra, he gets to jump to higher level math in a little bit of a sense of the word. So, I think it’s been fun for him to take what we already know and expand upon it.”
The Crew’s next test takes place on Feb. 16 against the Chicago Fire as part of the 2019 Carolina Challenge Cup in Charleston, S.C. The match kicks off at 5 p.m. ET at MUSC Health Stadium. All three CCC matches will be streamed, while fans in attendance will have the option to purchase single-game tickets or multi-game packages.