Monday, July 30, 2012

7/30/2012: McGuire Cup Win; Wil Trapp's, Benny Swanson's Future Of Club?

Crew U-19's win second McGuire Cup in three years. Crew strong in academy further down the road as well.

7/30/2012: McGuire Cup Win; Wil Trapp's, Benny Swanson's Future Of Club?
By Ryan Kozlowski

Crew Technical Director Brian Bliss had the following to say on his U-19 charges, a month before, in the Midwest Regional:

"I'd venture to say that last year's team had more individual talent and this year's team has more depth."

"From my experience coaching in this tournament, I'd say that if I had to error one way or another, I'd rather have more depth than a few more talented players because depth becomes very important when you have to play five games in five games to win the tournament. I like the way this team has been built."
Well, Brian Bliss was correct, as he compared this year's U-19 Crew to the 2010 National Champions who won the McGuire Cup as well.

Now the Columbus Crew Academy has two McGuire Cup's in three years, after defeating Georgia’s Gwinnett Soccer Association Phoenix 2-1 on Saturday night at the United States Youth Soccer National Championships in Rock Hill, S.C.

Wil Trapp scores for Akron

Crew academy standout Wil Trapp, played for the Crew U-19's in Saturday's national championship win, 48 hours after losing with the U.S. U-20's in the Milk Cup Tournament taking place in Ireland.

Wil Trapp may be another local standout that the Crew will try to acquire for the senior team (in the same vein as Ben Speas, Aaron Horton, and Matt Lampson.)

Other players from this team, to watch out for in the future, include Cole DeNormandie from Cincinnati


DeNormandie scored a team-leading 7 goals for the University of Cincinnati in his freshman year and scored 4 goals in 9 matches, including two game-winners, to help the Crew's U-20 and U-19 teams to two separate finals in a 10 day span.

Also, Kofi Agyapong, who has recently been selected to the USL Super-20 All-Tournament Team:

All of the players on this squad including Fatai Alashe, Chandler Gagnon, and Luke Blades would be eligible for a homegrown player contract with the Columbus Crew.

Another Crew Academy product to watch out for at the younger levels, is Grove City native Benny Swanson.

Benny Swanson helped the US U-15 National Team to a fifth place finish in the International Marveld Tournament in Holland earlier this Summer. The team finished ahead of the likes of Ajax, Olympique Marseille, Liverpool, and Real Madrid academy sides in the tournament.

His stellar play, has the 14 year old, even bumped up to the U17 U.S. National Team in this past week. As Benny Swanson stole the show in a 40 person camp, despite being the youngest field player.

As quoted here in
Like in the earlier game, the U.S. buckled in and held on for the 2-1 win against the Academy side much thanks to the midfield, which was anchored all game by youngster Benjamin Swanson.

“I thought it was a pretty good game,” Swanson told after the game. “I thought we moved the ball well in the first half. In the second half, it opened up and we were able to add another goal.”

Swanson is the youngest field player (alongside Cameron Lindley – both were born on July 18, 1997) at this camp. However, immaturity has not been a factor for the Columbus Crew Academy product.

“At first, it was an eye-opening experience in terms of how fast and intense the game was,” Swanson said about the camp so far. “I'm getting used it more and more. It has been a great experience overall.”

Swanson, while not getting on the score sheet, was the maestro of the day for the U.S. His carefully crafted passes helped open up the opposition on a number of occasions.
As I've stated in previous articles, Crew future may be bright thanks to our work in the reserves and academy. Even if the Wil Trapp's and Benny Swanson's only stay stateside for so long, even 3 years of use in the senior side is something the Crew can capitalize on.


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