Wil Trapp and the Columbus Crew celebrate.
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Columbus Crew SC's Wil Trapp hopes first USMNT call-up helps continue growth as leader

After a long career with US youth national team squads, Wil Trapp will finally make the step up with the big boys.

The Columbus Crew SC midfielder will join the USMNT’s camp in Carson, Calif., next week for his first senior team call-up.

The 21-year-old called the chance an “honor” and thanked Crew SC head coach Gregg Berhalter’s system for helping him make it to the national team. And for the first time, Trapp was able to speak with USMNT boss Jurgen Klinsmann, who relayed the news in a “short phone call” that “wasn’t anything glamorous or crazy.”

“We hadn’t spoken, really, one-on-one, so it was my first chance talking to him in that kind of scenario,” Trapp told reporters on a conference call Friday. “He was very congratulatory and just excited for the month-long camp to come. And I was very happy to receive the call and happy to be working with him.”

The Crew SC vice-captain will join his US teammates for the camp that runs Jan. 12 through Feb. 8. After 12 days in California, the team will head to Santiago for a friendly against Chile on Jan. 28. Camp concludes Feb. 8 with a friendly against Panama in Carson.

While Trapp has yet to step onto the field for the USMNT, he already has an idea of where he thinks he can find a role.

“You look at a guy like Kyle Beckerman, playing that D-mid role and sometimes dropping between the center backs and being the metronome for the team, that’s a similar role that I’ve been playing with Columbus Crew SC,” he said. “If I do well, I think that’s where I’d find myself playing.”

Despite his age, Trapp is undoubtedly one of the leaders in Columbus. And with many young players getting their first USMNT chance in the January camp, Trapp hopes he can take the opportunity to bring his leadership to the national team.

“There are a lot of guys I’ve played with before either at the U-20s or in Akron,” he said. “So those guys I know well, and it will be a little easier I’d say to be a leader and voice myself to them than it would be to a more seasoned pro and a guy with more experience with the national team.

“Saying that, I think I play my best when I’m trying to lead and help guys around me. So I’m just going to keep doing what I’m doing and try to lead in the best way and tailor it to the guys around me and read their needs.”

But it’s not all kids, and Trapp knows that learning beside USMNT stalwarts can only help his progression.

“I think it’s a good measuring stick for where I’m at in my career,” he said. “Playing with guys like Michael Bradley, Jermaine Jones, Chris Wondolowski and Matt Besler, guys who played in the World Cup, those are guys I look up to, and you have to strive to be like them. Being able to be there … and compete against them will hopefully do wonders for me.”