Now entering his seventh year as the radio play-by-play announcer for Major League Soccer’s Columbus Crew, Neil Sika has also spent the past nine years providing coverage of numerous NCAA Division I athletics.
Additionally, he has worked several national and regional events on television (Big Ten Network, STO, TWC) and radio (Monarch Sports).
Buckeyes, Blue Jackets and more
COLUMBUS – Columbus Crew Homegrown Player Wil Trapp has been called-in for United States Under-20 Men’s National Team duty ahead of the upcoming Toulon Tournament in Toulon, France. The tournament, held from May 28 to June 8, serves as the squad’s final preparations ahead of the 2013 FIFA U-20 World Cup on June 21 in Turkey.
U.S. Under-20 Men’s National Team head coach Tab Ramos’ roster features 13 players who helped the USA take second place at the 2013 CONCACAF U-20 Championship in early March in Puebla, Mexico. The Under-21 Toulon Tournament is the USA’s final match preparation for the 2013 FIFA U-20 World Cup, which runs June 21-July 13 in Turkey.
The U.S. opens the tournament against France on Tuesday, May 28, at Stade Léo-Lagrange in Toulon. Kickoff is set for 7:30 p.m. local time (1:30 p.m. ET). The group stage features four games, after which the group winners face each other in the championship match and the group runners-up meet in the third-place game. Both matches take place on Saturday, June 8.
Trapp is one of eight U-20 players with current MLS ties, and he joins Crew Technical Director Brian Bliss in camp, who serves as an Assistant Coach on Ramos’ staff. Trapp was named to the CONCACAF U-20 Championship All-Tournament Team earlier this year.
Roster by Position
GOALKEEPERS (2): Cody Cropper (Southampton FC; Maple Grove, Minn.), Kendall McIntosh (Santa Clara; Santa Rosa, Calif.)
DEFENDERS (7): Eric Miller (Creighton; Woodbury, Minn.), Juan Pablo Ocegueda (C.D. Guadalajara; Riverside, Calif.), Shane O’Neill (Colorado Rapids; Boulder, Colo.), Jeffrey Payeras (C.S.D. Municipal; Hawthorne, Calif.), Caleb Stanko (SC Freiburg; Holly, Mich.), Oscar Sorto (LA Galaxy; Los Angeles, Calif.), Javan Torre (UCLA; Santa Monica, Calif.)
MIDFIELDERS (7): Kellyn Acosta (FC Dallas; Plano, Texas), Marlon Hairston (Louisville; Jackson, Miss.), Benji Joya (Santos Laguna; San Jose, Calif.), Mikey Lopez (Sporting Kansas City; Mission, Texas), Collin Martin (Wake Forest; Chevy Chase, Md.), Dillon Serna (Colorado Rapids; Brighton, Colo.), Wil Trapp (Columbus Crew; Gahanna, Ohio)
FORWARDS (6): Daniel Cuevas (Santos Laguna; Sacramento, Calif.), Daniel Garcia (North Carolina; Dallas, Texas), Alonso Hernandez (C.F. Monterrey; El Paso, Texas), Alfred Koroma (Akron; Southlake, Texas), Jordan Morris (Seattle Sounders Academy; Mercer Island, Wash.), Victor Pineda (Chicago Fire; Bolingbrook, Ill.)
The Crew kept within striking distance of fifth place in the MLS Eastern Conference with its 1-0 win at Toronto FC on Saturday. Tim Cahill grabbed a late winner for the New York Red Bulls to extend their lead atop the East, while D.C. United snapped its seven-match losing streak with a home draw against Sporting Kansas City.
Here is how the Eastern Conference looks after 12 weeks of play in 2013.
1. New York Red Bulls - 24 pts. - Week 12: 1-0 Win vs. LA Galaxy
The Red Bulls continued their winning ways as Tim Cahill's stoppage time goal propelled New York to victory over the LA Galaxy on Sunday. Up next, the Red Bulls host the Crew on Sunday (5:00 P.M. ET/FOX Sports Ohio).
2. Sporting Kansas City - 21 pts. - Week 12: 1-1 Draw at D.C. United
Upset over an incorrect offside call, Peter Vermes' side was only able to take a point on the road at D.C. United. Sporting heads home to host the Houston Dynamo on Saturday.
3. Houston Dynamo - 20 pts. - Week 12: 2-0 Loss vs. New England Revolution
After making history with MLS' longest home-unbeaten streak, the Dynamo has dropped two in a row at BBVA Compass Stadium. Things won't be any easier for Houston as it travels to Kansas City, Columbus and Montreal for its next three matches.
4. Montreal Impact - 20 pts. - Week 12: Idle
The Impact was idle this week, but remains in fourth place on the table with at least a game in-hand on the rest of the teams in the East aside from Chicago. Montreal will host the Philadelphia Union at Stade Saputo on Saturday.
5. Philadelphia Union - 18 pts. - Week 12: 4-1 Loss vs. LA Galaxy, 1-0 Win vs. Chicago Fire
Rebounding from a 4-1 midweek loss at home to the LA Galaxy, Jack McInerney scored his league-leading eighth goal to help the Union to its second victory over the Fire in as many weeks. Philadelphia travels to Montreal to face the Impact on Saturday.
6. Columbus Crew - 15 pts. - Week 12: 1-0 Win at Toronto FC
The Crew ended a two-match skid with an ugly road win in Toronto to kick off the 2013 Trillium Cup presented by Scotts. The Black & Gold will need the same grit on Sunday as they travel to New York to face the first-place Red Bulls.
7. New England Revolution - 13 pts. - Week 12: 2-0 Win at Houston Dynamo
With both sides down to 10 men, teenager Diego Fagundez scored and Ricardo Clark added an own goal to hand the Revolution a rare win at BBVA Compass Stadium. New England will look to keep rolling as it hosts Toronto FC at Gillette Stadium on Saturday.
8. Chicago Fire - 7 pts. - Week 12: 1-0 Loss at Philadelphia Union
The Fire's struggle to find the back of the net continued over the weekend as Frank Klopas' side was shut out for the sixth time in 10 games this season. Chicago hits the road to face Real Salt Lake in Week 13.
9. Toronto FC - 7 pts. - Week 12: 1-0 Loss vs. Columbus Crew
Winless in nine matches, the Reds lost their fourth-straight over the weekend to the Crew at home. Toronto FC travels to New England to face the Revolution this week.
10. D.C. United - 5 pts. - Week 12: 1-1 Draw vs. Sporting Kansas City
D.C. was lucky to end its seven-match losing streak after Sporting Kansas City defender Ike Opara's goal was incorrectly called offside, but the Black-and-Red will be happy to see their woes come to an end. Up next, United hosts Portland Timbers FC on Saturday at RFK Stadium.
COLUMBUS – The Colorado Rapids made judicious use of their forward forays, scoring on their first two shots even though they were 61 minutes apart, as the visiting Rapids downed the Columbus Crew 2-0 on Saturday.
Former Crew star Edson Buddle put the Rapids ahead in the 8th minute and rookie Dillon Powers netted the important insurance tally in the 69th minute with a strike from distance that deflected off Crew defender Josh Williams.
Colorado (4-4-3, 15 points) won its second straight and is 4-1-2 in the past seven matches. The Rapids also ended a 0-5-2 regular-season streak in Columbus dating back to 2005.
The Crew (3-4-3, 12 points) lost their second straight at home, are now 1-2-2 at Columbus Crew Stadium this season and have been blanked in three of the past four games.
Columbus had the better of the play, but found themselves behind early as Buddle was in the perfect spot in the middle of the penalty box to take a layoff by Atiba Harris, bring the ball down, then beat goalkeeper Andy Gruenebaum from close range. Danny Mwanga got the second assist by feeding Harris from the left flank.
Buddle scored for the second straight game and for the 95th time in his career. He racked up 42 goals in 106 games for Columbus from 2001-05.
It was hardly the start the Crew expected, especially after they nearly got on the board in the first 25 seconds of the match. Jairo Arrieta outraced Clint Irwin for a 50-50 ball at the left edge of the penalty area and chipped the ball over the goalkeeper, only to see the attempt bounce left of the frame.
While the Crew often got into dangerous spots in the first half, they couldn't break down a tight Rapids defense that forced hurried passes and attempts. Arrieta had a good look off a spin move in the 26th minute but he sent a low strike skimming through the goal box and past the right post for the Crew's second-best chance before halftime.
Powers put the game out of reach off a free kick from the right corner after a hard foul by Matias Sanchez on Martin Rivero. The restart pinged to the top of the box, where Powers struck the ball low and hard but was helped by a dramatic ricochet off Williams that left Gruenebaum wrongfooted.
Irwin secured his fourth shutout with a save on a Glauber header in the 80th minute.
Colorado next plays at San Jose on May 18, while the Crew visit Toronto FC on the same day.