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Wil Trapp on the custom armband: ‘The fans have been wonderful to us all year’

Crew SC’s captain wanted to thank the fans for their support with the supporters’ groups armband.

Sam Fahmi/Massive Report

If you’re a Columbus Crew SC fan, you know Wil Trapp. Heck, even if you aren’t a Crew SC fan but live in Columbus or pay attention to soccer, you’re probably familiar with Trapp. In six season with the club, he’s become the face of the franchise. He’s also the team’s captain.

And that’s where this story is focused.

Nothing seemed to be out of the ordinary for Trapp in Saturday’s 0-0 draw with the Philadelphia Union. Trapp played well in his holding midfielder role, keeping his team organized defensively while the offense looked for a goal. It wasn’t until after the game that fans noticed something was different.

Trapp wore a captain’s armband that had the logo of each of the club’s supporters’ groups on it. Once this was realized, social media blew up, as did Trapp’s phone.

“The band came from a supporters’ group, they gave it to my mother actually,” Trapp told Massive Report. “And they were like, ‘He doesn’t have to wear it. It’s just something we thought was cool.’ I literally was like, ‘Oh, this is cool!’”

It’s not uncommon for Trapp to change armbands. He has a few that he wears throughout the season and earlier this month Major League Soccer did a special armband for captains as part of its Kick Childhood Cancer campaign.

What made this one unique was its direct connection to the fans, and Trapp is the perfect captain to wear an armband that ties back to the supporters. The 25-year-old is a native of Columbus’ suburb of Gahanna and grew up watching the Crew. He’s been in that stadium as a fan and has sat on those same metal bleachers at MAPFRE Stadium.

While any MLS captain likely would have worn something like this given to him by the fans, Trapp doing so seems to just make more sense and draws further connections between this team and its city, something that has been called into question over the last year since investor/operate Anthony Precourt declared there was not enough support in Columbus and has been actively trying to move the team to Austin, Texas.

“I think it’s great,” head coach Gregg Berhalter said of Trapp wearing the custom armband. “I think everything we do, in one way or another, connects back to the supporters. We’re closely linked to them and when we go on the field, we’re playing for them. So I think it’s a great tribute to the supporters, the people that come out there every week and really cheer us on.”

Trapp was actually surprised with the reaction from fans once they realized what was on his armband against the Union. To him, it was a nice gesture by the supporters to have it made and he wanted to make sure the armband got some use.

It has been a difficult season for Crew SC fans as they wait to find out if they will have a team in Columbus next year. While the players also play the waiting game, they at least signed up for a career in which uncertainty comes in the job description. The wearing of the armband wasn’t any kind of message to the fans but it was meant to thank them for sticking with the team through this trying season.

“It’s just one of those things that the fans have been wonderful to us all year, last year as well,” Trapp said. “So I think it’s good to show support and I thought it was just an attractive, cool thing.”