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Crew SC trio earn caps with United States during January camp

Three Crew SC players did well enough to earn appearances this past week, but it's unclear if they'll push into the National Team picture.

Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images

U.S. National Team camp is over and all three Crew SC players saw action with the team, but the reviews are decidedly mixed on all accounts. There are only so many minutes available in these games to impress and none of the Black and Gold players put in man of match performances, but neither did they play themselves out of contention for more playing time.

Ethan Finlay saw the most time, he was the only one who got a start, and he was the only player to appear in both games. Finlay struggled in his first international cap against Iceland. He started and went 61 minutes, but it was ultimately frustrating as he was rarely in rhythm with the rest of the offense. Darlington Nagbe, who replaced him, and Jerome Kiesewetter, who took over on the right wing when he came on in the 75th minute, looked far more comfortable in their brief appearances than Finlay did over an hour.

There's a bright spot for Finlay. He had an instant impact on Friday's game against Canada after he entered in the 88th minute. The game was a droll dud, but the Crew SC winger was able conjure some magic and drill in an excellent cross for Jozy Altidore to head home. It was a strong display of skill on a team that is looking for wingers and may provide the blueprint for how Finlay may fit within the National Team picture. His speed against tired legs would help if the U.S. is trying to chase a game or break down a defense.

Tony Tchani also made his first international appearance against Iceland, going the final 20 minutes. He didn't look overwhelmed by the moment, but the U.S. had started to hold possession and he wasn't put under as much pressure when he was on the ball. There were small moments where he did appear to switch off slightly and play a little more lax, a laxness that would be punished by other teams, but he also showed the moments where he can out hustle and muscle just about anyone. On a day where Jermaine Jones struggled, Tchani looked like the next revision of the rugged midfielder. It will be interesting if he's asked to do it against a more determined opponent.

Wil Trapp's camp is more confusing. He's been a Youth Team mainstay and was in last year's January camp, but he only got 13 minutes at the end of the Canada game. With a chance to possibly cement a role on the team, Jurgen Klinsmann turned to veterans Jones and Mix Diskerud to start instead of Trapp. He'll likely be called in for the pivotal U-23 Olympic Qualifiers in March against Colombia, but a spot on the Senior Team appears elusive for now.

Ultimately, Klinsmann and his staff had the full month to assess Finlay, Tchani, and Trapp and saw them in training, beyond brief game action. Klinsmann was positive towards the Crew SC compliment, but the German coach can be effusive with praise. More telling will be if Finlay, Tchani, or Trapp are called in by Klinsmann during the busy 2016 schedule. There's less than two months until the World Cup Qualifiers in late March and Copa America is fast approaching this summer.