OBETZ, Ohio – Since his introduction to the Columbus Crew lineup in the middle of last season, Wil Trapp has been one of the team's most important players.
And while the Homegrown product battled a knee injury over the last month, his presence was obviously missed. Midfield partner Tony Tchani played a variety of roles next to a variety of partners, but nothing seemed as fluid as his partnership with Trapp.
After he entered Columbus’s June 25 US Open Cup match against the Chicago Fire as a surprise substitute and started in the club’s June 29 draw with FC Dallas, Trapp appears to be back.
He admitted that watching from the sideline wasn’t fun.
“You want to be playing,” he said. “Any time you can’t, it’s the worst. There’s nothing worse.”
Trapp’s return against Chicago was meant to secure a win at the end of regulation, but ended up being a 50-minute stretch into extra time as the club blew a lead and lost 4-2. But Trapp was glad to have the game to get his feet back under him before MLS play returned.
“I thought it was good,” he said. “You never know, in an Open Cup game, what’s going to happen. But those are moments when you need to build fitness and that baseline, and I think it helped a lot. To get 50 minutes after only training is good.”
There was“a little bit” of rust to shake off in his return, but the Chicago match helped to “get the jitters out,” Trapp said.
- Catch the latest Crew headlines at TheCrew.com
“There was definitely some mental frustration, just slowness and not being as sharp as I need to be on the ball and on the field,” he added. “The fitness level is still something I’m working on, but it’s always good to be back on the field and playing.”
Now, Trapp says he feels as good as anyone does midway through the season.
“There’s always going to be a little bit of aches and pains, but it’s more or less fitness now,” he said. “It’s fine. [Head coach Gregg Berhalter] wouldn’t throw me out there if it wasn’t.”