Chad Barson won’t be playing very much on the pitch during the Columbus Crew’s break during the World Cup, but the Crew defender says he will be just as engrossed in soccer as he always is.

 After facing D.C. United on June 7, the Crew play only one game (against the Indy Eleven in the fourth round of the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup on June 17) between June 7 and June 28.

 Asked how many World Cup games he takes in during the break, Barson just laughs.

 “As many as I can,” says Barson, an 2009 Olentangy High School graduate who played on the U-18, U-17 and U-15 U.S. national squads. “I’ll get up, go up to training and then come home and watch as many as I can. I’ll just chill and watch games.”

 The break couldn’t come at a better time for the Crew, 4-5-4 overall in Major League Soccer play after defeating rival Chicago Fire 2-0 on May 24.Columbus started the season 3-0 with wins over United (3-0 on March 8 ), Philadelphia (2-1 on March 22) and the Seattle Sounders (2-1 on March 29).

Then the Crew’s offense sputtered, scoring only three goals in a month and a half while going 0-4-3.

 Columbus scored seven goals in a 3-all tie with the Portland Timbers on May 17, a 2-0 win in a friendly with the Dayton Dutch Lions on May 20 and the win over Chicago. After a 3-2 loss to Toronto on May 31, the Crew plays host to Real Salt Lake on June 4 and then visits D.C. on June 7.

 “I think the break will be good. It’ll give us a chance to recharge our batteries,” Barson says. “But we need to get a couple of good results before we go into the break. We need to take care of business and go into the break with a positive attitude.”

 Coach Gregg Berhalter was pleased with the way his team played offensively and defensively as the Crew handed the Fire its first shutout of the season. “(Shutting out Chicago) speaks for itself,” Berhalter says. “(During the slump) I think we’ve been playing well and not getting the results. We’re still trying to focus on the product we’re creating and how we’re playing. It’s nice when you get results.

 “I thought Chad Barson was great as well with his defensive responsibilities. These guys really responded. You can see some of the guys that played last week and played again this week they are getting a rhythm and they are getting a lot more comfortable.”

 Barson is becoming more and more comfortable with his role with the Crew. The defender started 18 of his 20 appearances in his first season with Columbus and has made two starts in his three appearances this season.

 One person who is not surprised by Barson’s play is former Olentangy High School boys soccer coach Dave Sebek. After playing his freshman and sophomore seasons with the Braves, Barson skipped his junior year to spend two semesters in the U.S. Residency program in Bradenton, Fla. In 2008,

Barson returned to the team for his senior year and earned second team all- state honors.

 Sebek could spot something different in Barson from the moment the defender stepped on the pitch.

 “I really don’t have too many stories about Chad. There was really no drama with him,” says Sebek, who stepped down from Olentangy in 2012. “From Day One, he was a very mature player as far as his understanding of soccer. He was a very calm player. There didn’t seem to be a situation you could put him in that would rattle him at all.”

 Like fellow homegrown teammates Ross Friedman (Harvard/Bexley), Matt Lampson (St. Charles/Northern Illinois and Ohio State), Wil Trapp (Gahanna/ Akron) and Matt Wiet (Worthington Kilbourne/Indiana and UCLA), Barson grew up watching the Crew and hoped one day to make an impact for the team.

 Barson and Trapp played together at Akron, leading the Zips to their first national championship with a 1-0 victory over the University of Louisville in 2010. Barson, a biology major who was a three-time Academic All-American, blocked a potential game tying shot by former Olentangy teammate Aaron Horton in the final minutes of the national championship game.

 “When I started (at the Residency program), I thought (playing professionally) was something that I could do,” Barson says. “I was fortunate enough to go to a good soccer school in Akron and had a lot of success there. Now this is my second year and it’s time to chase the dream a little bit.”