The United States may have lost to Italy on Tuesday afternoon, but it wasn’t all bad news for two prominent United State Men’s National Team players. Zack Steffen and Wil Trapp represented Columbus Crew SC well during international competition this season, and are nominated for U.S. Soccer Male Player of the Year it was announced on Tuesday.
Should either of the Black & Gold representatives win, they will join past winners such as Clint Dempsey, Landon Donovan and Tim Howard. Each player makes a compelling case on why they should claim the award in 2018.
Steffen was one of 19 players to debut in 2018 for the U.S. Men’s National Team. The 23-year-old led all goalkeepers with six appearances and picked up two clean sheets along the way. His best performance came against eventual world champion France in their sendoff match for the World Cup on June 9 in Lyon, France. The Crew SC goalkeeper made eight saves and drew international attention en route to a 1-1 draw.
Captain Wil Trapp had an impressive 2018 for the Stars and Stripes. Coming into the year, the Crew SC midfielder had just two caps with the United States. Many credit Trapp’s presence and leadership as the reason why he wore the captain’s armband during this difficult year for U.S. Soccer.
He wore the armband in eight of his nine appearances, and tied Bobby Wood for most caps during the year. Trapp ends the 2018 calendar year with 714 minutes played, the most of the 53 players who suited up for the United States.
Both players will face fierce competition from New York Red Bulls midfielder Tyler Adams, Schalke midfielder Weston McKennie and Chelsea defender Matt Miazga. The winner will be announced in early December.