COLUMBUS, Ohio — Columbus Crew president and general Mark McCullers has no doubts that the latest addition to the team's Homegrown stable will succeed after an agreement with 19-year-old midfielder Wil Trapp was announced Thursday.
Trapp was a national prep player of the year after leading Gahanna Lincoln High School in suburban Columbus to a state championship in 2009; a two-time Crew Soccer Academy Player of the Year; a major contributor for two seasons at the University of Akron and appeared in five matches for the US U-20 national team this year.
"Wil has found a way to be successful at every level," McCullers said.
"To grow up with them and see how they've evolved and the players that have come in and out, they've been in my heart ever since I was young," Trapp told MLSsoccer.com. "Now to be on the team it's more than I had hoped for.
"It's surreal. It's massive. I've dreamt of it every night and now it's here."
He's the fourth Homegrown player to join the Crew, following forward Aaron Horton, goalkeeper Matt Lampson and forward Ben Speas. Lampson appeared in three games and Speas one as rookies in 2012, and Horton's lone game came in June 2011.
Columbus head coach Robert Warzycha said the professional environment in training and the opportunities whether with the first team or in reserve games and friendlies is invaluable to young players such as Trapp.
"It's not up to the coaches whether he plays. It's up to the players," Warzycha said. "If he shows enough, then we are going to put him on the field. It's up to Wil whether he's going to take a chance and progress and fit in the team."
Trapp said he discussed turning pro after his just-completed sophomore season with Akron coach Caleb Porter, who will coach the Portland Timbers next season.
"Caleb and I had talked throughout the season whether or not – regardless of his decision – to leave," Trapp said. "He gave me his blessing and that I was ready to move on to the next level.
"He called me this morning and said good luck and congratulations. I said, 'Thanks, coach. See you soon.'"