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Wil Trapp Makes His Long-Awaited Return to MLS Play

Everyone was patient as the Crew SC midfielder worked his way back from concussion issues. On Saturday Wil Trapp finally returned with a late substitute appearance.

Saturday's 2-1 win over the New York Red Bulls was a massive victory for multiple reason.

First, for the second time this season, Columbus Crew SC came from behind to win a game, something that haunted the Black & Gold in the first half of the year.

Second, the team took advantage of a bad day for the rest of the Eastern Conference, climbing to second place in the East - even if it is only temporary.

What may be the most impactful part of the game when looking back on 2015 occurred very late in the match, but was recognized with the biggest ovation of the night.

The Homegrown son returned.

"That was incredible," midfielder Wil Trapp said of the standing ovation he received as he entered the match in the 88th minute. "You're standing there trying not to smile, trying not to get goose bumps but it's hard. At the end of the day, I'm just happy I'm back on the field."

Under head coach Gregg Berhalter in 2014, Trapp played nearly every minute available to him, becoming the anchor of Crew SC's midfield. This year, Trapp has dealt with concussion issues that have kept him out since early April and only allowing him to play in four games.

Over that time, Trapp saw multiple concussion specialists as the symptoms came and went, trying to figure out what was wrong. It was a new experience for the 22-year old that was not easy to get through.

"It was a long time," Trapp said of the injury. "I've never been out that long, but I've been surrounded by great staff here, the coaching staff, teammates, girlfriend, family, team and doctors - everyone's been huge in helping me get back, helping me stay positive. It's never fun when you're watching from the sidelines, but you just keep that goal in the back of your mind and push toward that every day."

Without the steading influence of the team's vice captain in the middle, Columbus had some ups and downs. While Tony Tchani and Mohammead Saeid did well while Trapp recovered, it was not the same in the midfield as what Black & Gold fans grew to expect a year ago.

"It's great," Berhalter said after the match when asked about Trapp's return.

"We've missed him. He's a quality player and it's great to have him back, it's great to give him some minutes and we look to increase that as we move forward."

Not only is it good to have Trapp back on the field from a playing standpoint, but also for the fans.

As a Columbus native - Trapp grew up in local suburb Gahanna - the midfielder is recognized throughout the city. He has become a fan favorite and the face of the franchise, hence the huge ovation.

"It's special," Berhalter said when asked about the reception Trapp received. "He means a lot to this area and rightfully so. He's a guy that most, if not all, of Columbus is proud of."

On the field, Trapp didn't get much time - officially just two minutes - but he made the most of it. With his team up 2-1, the midfielder used his fresh legs to chase down a ball in the northeast corner and held it until he was fouled.

The Nordecke supporter groups went nuts seeing one of their own work hard to help hold the lead and get three points.

That's just Trapp though. He's going to make the most of his minutes and do whatever he can for the city and he's happy he can do that again.

"Why not," he asked with a smile. "Excitement, all the emotions in one. Just happy to be back."