AKRON, Ohio – University of Akron sophomore Wil Trapp has agreed to terms on a Homegrown contract with the Columbus Crew of Major Leauge Soccer, thus forgoing his final two years of eligibility at UA to turn professional.
Trapp, who was a third team All-American with the Zips in 2012 and a member of the U.S. Under-20 Men's National Team, becomes just the fourth Homegrown signing in the history of the Columbus Crew franchise.
The native of Gahanna, Ohio, made an immediate impact in two seasons at Akron, starting all 45 games – primarily at defensive midfield – and finishing with one goal and eight assists. He was rated the No. 1 freshman in the country by Top Drawer Soccer in 2011 and was the Mid-American Conference Newcomer of the Year.
As a two-time All-MAC First Team honoree, Trapp helped lead the Zips to the NCAA's Round of 16 each season, the MAC regular season championship in 2011 and 2012, and the MAC Tournament title last fall.
Trapp is the fifth UA sophomore to enter the draft in as many seasons, following Darren Mattocks in 2011, Zarek Valentin in 2010, Teal Bunbury in 2009 and Steve Zakuani in 2008. Perry Kitchen, who played one season at Akron, was the Zips' youngest player to enter the draft in 2010.
The Zips posted a two-year record of 33-5-7 (.811) with Trapp on the field, including a 13-0-0 mark versus MAC foes during the regular season. UA set the NCAA record for the longest home unbeaten streak in his first game for the Blue and Gold in 2011 and broke another college soccer milestone in one of his last as the Zips pushed their conference unbeaten streak to 47 matches with a 2-0 victory over Northern Illinois in the MAC Tournament final.
Trapp, the former NSCAA National High School Player of the Year, also appeared in five of the U.S. U-20 National Team's nine matches this year.
During his time with the Crew Soccer Academy, Trapp captained the U-16 and U-18 squads while also helping Gahanna Lincoln High School to its first OHSAA Division I championship in 2009. More recently, the midfielder scored the game-winning goal in the 2012 U-19 NYSA National Championship match to help Crew Juniors secure their fourth championship in three years.
"We've had our eye on Wil for some time, and we're very excited to have him join the First Team," said Crew Technical Director Brian Bliss. "We always believed that he'd be signing for us at some point, and that day has arrived. Wil is a player that can get the job done, as he's made big contributions to our Youth System and Akron's program as well. He's in the mix for the United States Under-20 World Cup squad, and we look forward to continuing his development right here in Columbus."
Trapp will take part in the U.S. U-20 National Team training camp next week in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. before joining the Crew for preseason training in mid-January.
What is a Homegrown contract?
According to the roster rules of MLS, a club may sign a player to his first professional contract without subjecting him to the MLS SuperDraft if the player has trained for at least one year in the club's youth development program and has met the League's Homegrown Player criteria. Players joining MLS through this mechanism are known as Homegrown Players. There is no limit to the number of Homegrown Players a club may sign in a given year.