Trapp's goal keys Crew Juniors' national title
Wil Trapp was exhausted after playing four games with the United States U20 men's national soccer team during a seven-day stretch, including competing in the Northern Ireland Milk Cup on July 21-26.
Nevertheless, after assisting on a goal in a 4-3 loss to Chile on July 26, he hopped on a plane the next morning and began a daylong journey to Rock Hill, S.C., to join up with his teammates on the Crew Juniors U19 boys team.
In Trapp's absence, the Crew Juniors had advanced to the final of the U.S. Youth Soccer Association National Championships, where they were scheduled to play GSA 93 Phoenix Red from Georgia on July 28 at Manchester Meadows for the McGuire Cup championship.
Despite feeling the effects of jet lag, Trapp, who will be a sophomore this fall at Akron and is a 2011Gahanna High School graduate, started the game at defensive midfield and played well despite the fact that his team trailed 1-0 at halftime.
He could feel his energy level slipping early in the second half but received a shot of adrenaline when teammate Jordan Tyler from Rochester, Mich., scored with 35 minutes remaining.
Eleven minutes later, Trapp intercepted a clearing attempt about 25 yards from Phoenix Red's goal and drilled a low shot past goalkeeper Jack Falle.
Trapp's goal stood up as the game winner, as the Crew Juniors held on for a 2-1 win to capture the McGuire Cup for the second time in three years.
Established in 1935, the McGuire Cup is recognized as being the oldest youth sports trophy.
"This has been such an exciting summer, from playing overseas with the U.S. U20 national team to winning a national championship," Trapp said. "I was feeling a little ragged in the beginning of the first half, but that's just one of those things you have to be able to handle at this level of soccer.
"I caught my second wind in the second half and I was hanging out in the right place at the right time when one of their defenders tried to clear it to the top of the 18. I play defense or in the midfield, so I don't get chances to score many goals. That was just one of those dream goals where I shot it and it skipped a couple of times and went in."
The game was broadcast live on Fox Soccer and was played in front of a standing-room-only crowd.
"Wil's been one of the better performers for the U.S. U20 team and he may have been the top player on the field in our national title game," Crew Juniors coach Brian Bliss said. "It was a great commitment on his end to fly in from Ireland to play in the championship game, and he played well for 90 minutes and scored a goal when we really needed one."
The Crew Juniors opened pool play July 25 with a 1-0 win over West Coast FC from California, as Nicholas Hagglund of West Chester scored the winning goal four minutes into the second half.
On July 26, the Crew Juniors rallied to beat Empire United SA Syracuse (N.Y.) 2-1. After falling behind 1-0 five minutes into the first half, the Crew Juniors got second-half goals by Matt Walker of Batavia and Cole Denormandie of Cincinnati.
The Crew Juniors lost to Phoenix Red 2-1 on July 27 despite taking a 1-0 lead 16 minutes into the game on a goal by Will Walker of Batavia.
Despite the loss, the Crew Juniors finished second in their pool with a 2-0-1 record and six points, behind Phoenix Red (2-0-1, 7), and ahead of West Coast FC (1-1-1, 4) and Empire United SA (0-3, 0).
The Crew Juniors earned the tournament's Fair Play Award for having the least amount of fouls per game.
Kofi Agyapong, Jeff Gal and the Walker brothers were selected for the all-tournament team, and Gal received the Best Goalkeeper Award.
"Our guys believed in our system and stuck with our game plan, whether we were winning or down in games," Bliss said. "Winning the McGuire Cup for the second time in three years confirms our belief that we're developing players the right way while also playing a winning style."