It has been a busy couple of weeks for players out of Columbus Crew SC. The team sent four players on loan and four more were called up to senior national team duty with various countries. Several players impressed during their time away from the Crew, either on the international stage or on loan.
Three loaned players were sent to the USL Championship. Goalkeeper Ben Lundgaard was sent to the Pittsburgh Riverhounds, center back Alex Crognale joined Indy Eleven and winger Edward Opoku was loaned to the Birmingham Steel. Homegrown center back Aboubakar Keita joined USL League One’s Richmond Kickers whose season begins on Saturday, though he also as called into the the U.S. Under-20 National Team over the international break.
Gyasi Zardes and Wil Trapp each made a couple appearances for the U.S. Men’s National Team as former Crew head coach Gregg Berhalter continues to assess his new side. Zardes had a goal and assist over the break. Justin Meram also had a goal and an assist for the Iraq National Team’s two games in March. Waylon Francis joined up with the Costa Rican squad during their March friendlies.
The full loan (and international) report is below:
Gyasi Zardes - U.S. National Team
3/21 - Started and played 90 minutes. He scored the lone goal of the game as the USMNT defeated Ecuador 1-0 in a friendly.
3/26 - Started and played 79 minutes at striker as the U.S. tied Chile 1-1. He provided the assist for Christian Pulisic’s fourth minute goal.
Wil Trapp - U.S. National Team
3/21 - Started and played 59 minutes before being substituted when the game versus Ecuador was 0-0. The USMNT would go on to win 1-0.
3/26 - Came on as a substitute and played 25 minutes at in the midfield as the U.S. secured a tie with Chile 1-1.
Justin Meram - Iraqi National Team
3/20 - Started and played 90 minutes. He scored the only goal in Iraq’s 1-0 win over Syria.
3/26 - Started and played 87 minutes. He assisted on the third goal as Iraq defeated Jordan 3-2 to win the International Friendship Championship mini-tournament held in Basra, Iraq. Meram was named the tournament Most Valuable Player.
Waylon Francis - Costa Rica National Team
3/22 - Started and played 63 minutes before being substituted with Costa Rica down 1-0 to Guatemala. The Ticos lost 1-0 on the night.
3/26 - Did not play in Costa Rica’s 1-0 win against Jamaica.
Aboubakar Keita - U.S. U-20 team
3/22 - Came on as a halftime substitute and played 45 minutes as the U.S. came back from a 2-0 halftime deficit to tie France 2-2.
3/25 - Started the game and played 45 minutes in the scoreless first half of the U.S.’s 2-1 defeat of the Japan U-20 team.
Ben Lundgaard - Pittsburgh Riverhounds
3/15 - Unused sub in the Hounds’ 2-0 loss to the Tampa Bay Rowdies
3/23 - Started in goal and played 90 minutes in the 2-2 tie against the Swope Park Rangers. He made three saves in his professional debut.
Next game is 3/30 at Bethlehem Steel
Alex Crognale - Indy Eleven
3/15 - Unused sub in a 3-2 win over the Charlotte Independence
Next game is 3/30 against Hartford Athletic
Edward Opoku - Birmingham Legion
First game is 3/30 at Louisville City FC