The United States is not going to the World Cup, so any National Team games over the next year are not going to generate the normal amount of excitement. But for Columbus Crew SC fans, Sunday’s exhibition game with Bosnia and Herzegovina at least held a little intrigue.
Three Crew SC players were part of the 0-0 draw with Bosnia at the StubHub Center in Carson, California, including Wil Trapp captaining his country for the first time and Zack Steffen making his U.S. National Team debut.
Trapp earned his third cap for the Red, White & Blue, starting the match in the center of the pitch. The 25-year-old, Central Ohio native controlled play at the heart of the field for the Americans, playing smart and floating a couple of nice balls into attacking areas.
In his first start for the USA, Trapp took all of the set pieces and looked comfortable in this international friendly.
Steffen did not start the match — caretaker manager Dave Sarachan went with Bill Hamid — but took his place in the net to begin the second half. Just seven minutes into his first appearance for the National Team, the man who stopped more penalty kicks than anyone else in Major League Soccer last season faced an effort from the spot.
While Steffen went the wrong way, the post was his friend as Haris Medunjanin’s penalty struck the woodwork and the game remained scoreless.
The 22-year-old goalkeeper was forced into a diving save in the 67th minute, but other than that effort, his jersey remained clean.
For the most part, Steffen’s distribution was good. He did have one pass down the middle of the field that came up short of its target, but no danger came of that play.
Columbus’ other player to take part in this friendly was offseason addition Gyasi Zardes. The 26 year old, who is expected to replace Ola Kamara as Crew SC’s top forward, started the match on the left wing for the Yankees.
Zardes did not see much action, rotating to the right side partway through the opening 45 minutes in order to get more involved in the play. The attacker was one of three halftime substitutions made by Sarachan.
With no World Cup this summer, the U.S. is focused on rebuilding. This includes finding the country’s next head coach, but also provides an opportunity for players such as Trapp and Steffen to put their names in the mix for regular call-ups and Zardes to prove he still belongs in the National Team picture.
These three players will now join their Crew SC teammates, who began preseason training last week, in Casa Grande, Arizona. The team will remain in Arizona until a trip to Honolulu, Hawaii for the Pacific Rim Cup beginning on Feb. 6.