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It Took Time But Will Trapp Struck at the Right Moment

Trapp is in his second year as a professional and finally found his first goal for the Black and Gold to spark last Saturday's two-goal comeback.

Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

After signing with the Columbus Crew as a Homegrown product in December 2012, it took Wil Trapp 19 games before he made his professional debut. The central midfielder quickly cemented himself in the Crew's lineup, starting all 15 remaining games in 2013.

When new head coach Gregg Berhalter took over after last season, he brought a possession style, that fit Trapp's abilities. The philosophy has required Trapp to drop into the center of defense as the outside backs push forward and also be a crucial cog in the passing game.

Due to what Trapp has been asked to do over his first two years with the Black and Gold, it took the 21-year old 3,293 minutes to score his first professional goal, but he made it count.

In a game where Columbus trailed the Houston Dynamo 2-0 heading into the second half and a poor record when losing games, things seemed bleak to those watching, but Trapp and his teammates had confidence.

"We knew we were going to get a goal, we just didn't know where it was going to come from," Trapp said of the first goal. "I think most guys were just happy we got it early in the half and we had plenty of time to make the comeback."

It was the midfielder who got the Crew off the mark and began the comeback to get a precious point on the road. For a player who hadn't scored since college, Trapp made it appear routine with his strike from 25 yards out.

"It was a quick throw, took a touch, took a look up, took another touch, and just hit it," he described his first successful strike.

"I think the center back might have screened him a little bit that he didn't have the easiest angle on it. It just kind of nestled right in the corner."

Berhalter was happy to see the youngster get his first goal, especially in a big moment. He said it's something the team knows Trapp can do, but it's about execution.

"I think that Wil, when he gets in those positions, we know he can hit the ball so now it's accuracy and getting it on goal," he said. "He struggled with that a little bit and this was a perfect shot. A great way to start the comeback."

For Trapp, it was a good way to open his professional account, but the always-modest midfielder was happier he was able to help his team.

"It felt great," he said. "Not much for celebrating when you're down a goal or down two goals. It was cool, but I was most impressed with the way we reacted after it and clawing the next one back pretty soon in playing a well round second half."

So are there more goals in his future now that Trapp has opened his account? He certainly hopes as much.

"I think that's part of both of our goals, to be a little bit more of a factor on goal," Trapp said of himself and midfield partner Tony Tchani.

"I think if we develop that more and more, that's when the little gaps in behind the midfielders or the center backs are going to open up even more to find those little cutting passes that Pipa's so good at. It opens up a lot more options in the attacking third when you have a long shot threat."

Trapp became the 12th member of the Black and Gold to score with that strike, but Tchani nearly earned that honor earlier in the game with a dazzling run into the box and a shot that went just wide. These two have come close all season, but now that Trapp has found the net, maybe his partner in crime can too.

It's something they will keep working on to help make the team more difficult to defend, but also for their own enjoyment.

"It's just practice," Trapp said. "More and more practice is only going to make it better. It's something that I can definitely improve on and it's fun. It's fun to score."