U.S. Soccer

Academy Alumni: Set-Up Men Trapp, Shipp Highlight Week 3 in MLS

Former Crew Soccer Academy standout Wil Trapp assisted the game-winning goal to lead the Columbus Crew to a 2-1 victory against the Philadelphia Union on Saturday, leading the club to its first 2-0-0 start.


Former Crew Soccer Academy standout Wil Trapp assisted the game-winning goal to lead the Columbus Crew to a 2-1 victory against the Philadelphia Union on Saturday.

Trapp, who captained the U.S. Under-20 Men’s National Team for a match during the 2013 FIFA U-20 World Cup, assisted Bernardo Anor’s second tally in first-half stoppage time and also played the full 90 minutes as he continues to play a big role in his second MLS season. Trapp and the Crew are off to their first 2-0-0 start in club history.

Trapp is coming off a 2013 rookie campaign in which he had one assist in 16 games. This year, Trapp has two starts, an assist and 180 minutes to his name.

In that Crew-Union match, BW Gottschee product Leo Fernandes scored Philadelphia’s lone goal, which was his first-career MLS tally.

Elsewhere, Harry Shipp, an Academy product of both the Chicago Fire and Chicago Magic PSG, assisted the Fire’s lone goal en route to a 1-1 draw against the New York Red Bulls during the team’s home opener on Sunday in Bridgeview, Ill. Shipp provided the corner kick assist to Jeff Larentowicz in the sixth minute to take an early 1-0 lead.

Also on the same pitch, Fire homegrown player Victor Pineda made his long-awaited MLS debut as a second-half sub. Pineda, who like Trapp was a member of the U.S. U-20 squad at last year’s U-20 World Cup, was the Fire’s first homegrown signing back in 2010.

Former Andromeda midfielder Dillon Powers was named the MLS Man of the Match during the Colorado Rapids’ 2-0 victory against the Portland Timbers on Saturday at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park in Commerce City, Colo.


First Cap, First Goal: Christen Press

On Feb. 9, 2013, the U.S. Women’s National Team kicked off the new year with a 4-1 victory against Scotland in Jacksonville, Florida. Christen Press, then 24-years-old, was responsible for two goals that day, scoring in the 13th minute and adding another in the 32nd to give the U.S. a 2-0 lead at halftime.

The early goal was Press’ first for the USA, coming in a match that was also her first cap.


Becky Sauerbrunn hugs Christen Press in the aftermath of Press scoring on her WNT debut. 

Earning that first cap is special for any player, but a debut and a goal in the same game? That’s a rare feat. In the 30+ year history of the U.S. WNT  21 players have scored in their first caps.

NOTHING TO LOSE

Press’ path to that first game three years ago was an interesting one.  In early 2012, she made the decision to move to Sweden after U.S.-based Women’s Professional Soccer folded. Press thought leaving the country might negatively impact her hopeful National Team career, but little did she know, it was only just beginning.

“I think just because I always thought that the National Teams would be watching the American league, I thought that going abroad was kind of like saying goodbye to my dream of playing for the National Team,” recalled Press. “I left around this time, in February, and I thought I would not get a call, I sort of thought that I would fall out of U.S. Soccer’s radar.”

As it turns out, head coach Pia Sundhage kept tabs on players in Europe, especially in her native land of Sweden. Press got off to a hot start with her new club, and it wasn’t long before she was on her way back home.

Press returned to the U.S. and joined the WNT in Florida in April during the final stretch of what had been an intense fitness camp. She kept to herself and tried to quickly learn as much as possible despite only being there for five days.

“I had nothing to lose,” she said. “It was my first camp, it was warm and I was so happy. I don’t think I spoke to anybody. I was not nervous, I was just happy to be in Florida and my dream was coming true. I’m always quiet when I don’t know my surroundings, so I just kept to myself trying to learn the rules, how to behave; it was all so quick.”

That short stint turned out to be the only one for Press before she was named an Olympic alternate in 2012. The following February, Tom Sermanni took over as WNT head coach, and it was then Press learned she would start against Scotland. Her chance had arrived.

“I went on the field, the crowd was so much bigger than I’d ever played in front of, and for me it was so much bigger than life,” said Press. “But I kept telling myself, ‘I’m not nervous, I’m confident, I’m a good player and I believe in myself.’”

Years and multiple goals later, plus one Women’s World Cup title to her name, the dream is alive and well for Press.

Christen Press
Press celebrates scoring her first World Cup goal against Australia in the USA's opening match of the 2015 Women's World Cup

Read more
WNT Jun 11, 2017
×