It's never too early to look forward to the next World Cup cycle.
ESPNFC's Jeff Carlisle has listed the Crew's Wil Trapp as one of "10 U.S. stars to watch for in 2018." Among others, the 21-year-old reigning U.S. Soccer Young Male Athlete of the Year is listed along with New England Revolution midfielder Kelyn Rowe (pictured above with Trapp), Bayern Munich winger Julian Green and Seattle Sounders defender DeAndre Yedlin in Carlisle's projection.
Here's what U.S. U-20 Men's National Team Head Coach and World Cup veteran Tab Ramos had to say about Trapp's future in the article:
"I think Wil Trapp will be a professional for the next 15 years, and I’m hoping he's the next guy to make a jump to the first team because he does all the things right. He connects the team better than anyone. He's always there. He's always in the right place, and when the ball gets to him, he puts it in an even better place. He's a Xavi kind of player. Obviously you can't compare him to Xavi because he's been doing it for the last 15 years, but he's that kind of guy. He connects the dots like that."
Crew Soccer Academy Wolves product Ahinga Selemani and CSA midfielder Ben Swanson are included in U.S. U-18 Men's National Team Head Coach Javier Perez's 18-man squad that is headed to the Copa del Atlantico in Spain, U.S. Soccer announced on Tuesday. Swanson is one of just eight players born in 1997 on the roster.
The U.S. will square-off against the likes of Spain, Argentina and the Canary Islands in the tournament. The Copa del Atlantico starts on January 30 and finishes up on February 8.
Projected as a First Round SuperDraft selection in 2013, defender Matt Wiet talks about his decision to finish his degree at UCLA and sign with the Crew as a Homegrown Player ahead of the 2014 season.
Grove City native and Crew Soccer Academy midfielder Ben Swanson has been included in United States Under-18 Men's National Team Head Coach Javier Perez's 24-man camp in Lakewood Ranch, Fla. this month. The camp began on January 4 and will run through Saturday, January 11 to prepare the United States for the Copa del Atlantico in the Canary Islands next month. Swanson is among 21 players in the camp that come from U.S. Soccer Development Academy squads.
For the full release and details on the camp, head over to USSoccer.com.
Crew Soccer Academy products Alex Crognale (Maryland) and Connor Klekota (Notre Dame) squared-off on December 15 with the Fighting Irish taking home the title. Crew Soccer Academy had players in previous finals in 2009 (Chad Barson, Ben Speas on Akron ), 2010 (Chad Barson and Ben Speas on Akron) and 2011 (Ben Speas on UNC).
A week after winning the 2013 College Cup with Notre Dame, TheCrew.com's Cody Sharrett caught up with Klekota to chat about about his progression through his college career.
Crew Soccer Academy products Alex Crognale (Maryland) and Connor Klekota (Notre Dame) will play for an NCAA Championship this weekend at the 2013 College Cup at PPL Park in Chester, Penn. Klekota and the Fighting Irish face the New Mexico Lobos in the first Semifinal match, while Crognale and the Terrapins square-off against ACC rival Virginia afterward. The two Academy products could meet in the Final on Sunday.
COLLEGE CUP SCHEDULE
Friday, December 13
(3) Notre Dame vs. (7) New Mexico - 5:00 p.m. ET
(5) Maryland vs. (8) Virginia - 7:30 p.m. ET
Sunday, December 15
National Championship Final - 3:00 p.m. ET
*All matches on ESPNU
Crew Youth recently launched its own exclusive line of adidas apparel in the Crew Youth Spirit Wear Store on Soccer.com. Fans, players and parents can choose from a multitude of Crew Juniors and Crew Soccer Academy gear in the online marketplace. From December 2-27, all customers will receive $5 their order.
On the heels of a whirlwind rookie season, the Crew's Wil Trapp has been nominated for the U.S. Soccer Federation's 2013 Young Male Athlete of the Year award. In addition to sharing captain duties for the United States at the 2013 FIFA Under-20 World Cup in Turkey, Trapp emerged as a mainstay in the Black & Gold midfield in the second half of the 2013 season. Trapp's competition for the award includes the Colorado Rapids' Shane O'Neill, FC Dallas' Kellyn Acosta and U.S. U-17 National Team defenders Shaquell Moore and Erik Palmer-Brown. Past winners of the award include Landon Donovan, Michael Bradley and Jozy Altidore.
From U.S. Soccer:
Trapp was the consistent backbone of the U.S. Under-20 Men’s National Team throughout the 2013 CONCACAF U-20 Championship and the 2013 FIFA U-20 World Cup in Turkey. Trapp scored the game-winning goal during the USA’s 4-2 quarterfinal win against Canada on Feb. 26 to clinch a U-20 World Cup berth. He also earned 2013 CONCACAF U-20 Championship Best XI honors as the U.S. took second place at the tournament in Puebla, Mexico. At the U-20 World Cup, Trapp wore the captain’s armband when the USA posted a 1-1 draw against eventual tournament winner France on June 24. The Gahanna, Ohio, native and former Crew Soccer Academy player completed his first Major League Soccer season with the Columbus Crew, earning 15 starts and recording an assist while manning the central midfield. His MLS debut came on July 7 as he started during the Crew’s 1-0 victory against the Portland Timbers.
While the Black & Gold are not in action this weekend after finishing the 2013 MLS campaign on Sunday against the New England Revolution, the Crew's Youth programs will be taking over the Crew Stadium pitch on Saturday. The Crew Soccer Academy U-14, U-16 and U-18 will take on the CSA Wolves of Michigan tomorrow. Come get a glimpse of the Black & Gold's future as the U-18s kick-off the action at 11:00 a.m. ET, followed by the U-16s at 1:15 p.m. ET and the U-14s at 3:30 p.m. ET. Admission is free.
Additionally, it was a big week for Academy product Brandon Silva. The Bowling Green State University midfielder was named to the Capital One All-District Academic Team.