Philadelphians Abroad

Philadelphians Abroad: Ryan Finley finds success as a starter for Columbus

Photo: Courtesy of Glenn Riegel/Reading United

After going 9th overall in the 2013 MLS SuperDraft, expectations were high for Lumberton, NJ native and Columbus Crew forward Ryan Finley. But for most of this season Finley has made his living riding the pine for a lackluster and lost Crew side, playing only 104 minutes in the Crew’s first 25 games. Then a few poor choices by Crew front man Frederico Higuain that led to a multi-game suspension gave Finley the shot he had been waiting for. After only making susbstitute appearances for the Crew, Finley was thrust into a starting role, filling the hole left by the Argentinian’s absence.

After a solid 90 minute performance against the Seattle Sounders on August 31, Finley came into his own just four days later against Houston. Scoreless at the half, Finley put Columbus into the lead just two minutes after the restart of play. Finley did well to tuck away a cross in the six yard box from midfielder Justin Meram for his first professional goal. Despite squandering a chance to add an insurance goal off of a penalty, Finley made up for the blown opportunity in the 74th minute. Receiving a cross from fellow forward Dominic Oduro, Finley returned the earlier favor by feeding Meram outside of the box. Meram faked to his right, and cut back, and slid a low shot past the Houston goalkeeper to give the Crew the 2-0 lead.

After a third straight start over the weekend, things appear to be looking up for Finley under new Crew coach Brian Bliss. But while this may seem a quick turn of fate for Finley, a look at his record shows a great deal of promise for the rookie.

In his youth career, Finley spent a year and a half with Players Development Academy and spent his sophomore and junior seasons at Bradenton with the U.S. Soccer under-17 residency program. Finley made 22 appearances with the U-17 U.S. National Team between 2006 and 2007, scoring 10 goals, while making another 5 appearances with the U-18 National team from 2007 to 2009.

In 2009 he tallied 20 goals and six assists while leading Rancocas Valley High School to the NJ state title as a senior. For his efforts he was named the Philadelphia Inquirer South Jersey player of the year and selected for the ESPN RISE Fall Boys’ Soccer All-America team along the way.

Finley’s transition to college was a smooth one. As a Freshman at Duke, the forward started all 21 matches for the Blue Devils, where he tallied a team-best 11 goals and was named to the NSCAA All-South Region second team and ACC All-Freshman teams.

As a sophomore he started 17 of his 18 games, led the ACC in goals with 17 and was ranked first among all NCAA Division I players in goals per game (0.94) while tying the Duke single-season goals record and becoming first Blue Devil to register three hat tricks in a season. That year he earned All-ACC first team honors and was voted the ACC Offensive Player of the Year.

In his Junior year, Finley transferred to Notre Dame, where he played in 17 matches and led the Irish in goals, with 7, and picked up two assists to be named to the All-BIG EAST Second Team and All-Great Lakes Region Third Team.

In his final year, Finley played in all 22 matches with the Irish and ranked second nationally in goals, with 21 (his own career-best), and ranked third nationally in goals per game (0.95) to be named to the NSCAA All-America First Team, MAC Hermann Trophy finalist, All-Great Lakes Region First Team, and the BIG EAST Offensive Player of the Year. Finley was a unanimous selection to the All-BIG EAST First Team and in the BIG EAST Championship he was named the Most Outstanding Offensive Performer and earned a spot on the all-tournament team.

While in the PDL, Finley played for three Mid Atlantic Division teams finally moving from Ocean City Nor’easters to Reading United for the 2012 season.

Major League Soccer

Chris Albright, D, Philadelphia Union — Did not play. Season: 2 games, 1 clean sheet. U.S. Open Cup: 0 games.

Greg Cochrane, D, Los Angeles Galaxy  Did not play. Season: 10 games, 7 starts, 2 clean sheets. U.S. Open Cup: 1 game, 1 start.

Bobby Convey, M, Toronto FC — Did not play. Season: 18 games, 16 starts, 1 goal, 3 assists.

Ryan Finley, F, Columbus Crew — Started and played 75 minutes in Wednesday’s 2-0 win over Houston, scoring a goal in the 47th minute and providing an assist in the 74th minute. Started and played 90 minutes in Saturday’s 3-0 loss at Kansas City. Season: 10 games, 3 starts, 1 goal, 1 assist. U.S. Open Cup: 0 games.

Dan Gargan, D, San Jose Earthquakes — In the 18, but did not play. Season: 7 games, 5 starts, 1 assist, 1 clean sheet. U.S. Open Cup: 1 game, 1 start.

Cristhian Hernandez, M, Philadelphia Union — Did not play. Season: 19 games, 14 starts, 4 goals, 4 assists. U.S. Open Cup: 1 game, 1 start.

Antoine Hoppenot, F, Philadelphia Union — Played 20 minutes in Sunday’s 1-0 loss at San Jose. Season: 25 games, 1 start, 3 goals, 1 assist. U.S. Open Cup: 1 game.

Jeff Larentowicz, M, Chicago Fire — Started and played 90 minutes in Saturday’s 2-1 loss at Seattle.  Season: 25 games, 24 starts, 1 goal, 4 assists. U.S. Open Cup: 3 games, 1 start.

Jimmy McLaughlin, M, Philadelphia Union — Did not play. Season: 23 games, 7 starts, 5 goals. U.S. Open Cup: 1 game, 1 start.

Jeff Parke, D, Philadelphia Union — Started and played 90 minutes in Sunday’s 1-0 loss at San Jose. Season: 25 games, 25 starts, 7 clean sheets. U.S. Open Cup: 2 games, 2 starts.

Ryan Richter, D, Toronto FC  In the 18, but did not play. Season: 14 games, 13 starts, 1 clean sheet. Canadian Championship: 2 games, 2 starts.

Marcus Tracy, F, San Jose Earthquakes — Did not play. Season: 5 games. U.S. Open Cup: 0 games.

Andrew Wenger, F, Montreal Impact — Played 1 minute in Sunday’s 4-2 win at New England. Season: 15 games, 6 starts, 1 goal, 3 assists. Canadian Championship: 4 games, 4 starts, 1 goal.

CONCACAF Champions League

Greg Cochrane, D, Los Angeles Galaxy  Next game scheduled for September 18, 2013. Tournament: 0 games.

Dan Gargan, D, San Jose Earthquakes — Next game scheduled for September 17, 2013. Tournament: 2 games, 2 starts, 0 clean sheets.

Marcus Tracy, F, San Jose Earthquakes — Next game scheduled for September 17, 2013. Tournament: 0 games.

Andrew Wenger, F, Montreal Impact — Next game scheduled for September 17, 2013. Tournament: 1 game.

NASL

Hunter Gorskie, D, New York Cosmos – Started and played 90 minutes in Saturday’s 1-1 draw with Atlanta. Season: 5 games, 5 starts, 1 clean sheet.

Pat Hannigan, GK, San Antonio Scorpions — Started and played 90 minutes in Saturday’s 0-0 draw at Fort Lauderdale. Season: 11 games, 11 starts, 19 goals against. U.S. Open Cup: 0 games.

Corey Hertzog, F, FC Edmonton — On loan from Vancouver, started and played 90 minutes in Saturday’s 1-1 draw at Minnesota, scoring a goal in the 77th minute. Season (Edmonton): 5 games, 5 starts, 2 goals. Season (Vancouver): 7 games, 6 starts, 1 goal, 1 assist. Canadian Championship (Vancouver): 2 games, 1 goal.

Jeremy Vuolo, GK, San Antonio Scorpions — In the 18, but did not play. Season: 6 games, 5 starts, 7 goals against. U.S. Open Cup: 0 games.

Austrian Bundesliga

Eddie Gustafsson, GK, Red Bull Salzburg — No game this week. Season: 0 games.

Finnish Veikkausliiga (Premier Division)

Jon Okafor, M, MYPA — No game this week. Season: 24 games, 13 starts, 2 goals, 1 assist.

Finnish Kakkonen (Second Division)

Alex DeJohn, D, Ekenäs IF — Started and played 90 minutes in Saturday’s 2-0 win over SalPa. Season: 20 games, 20 starts, 10 clean sheets.

German Bundesliga Süd/Südwest (U19)

Russell Canouse, M, Hoffenheim — No game this week. Season: 2 games, 2 starts.

Zach Pfeffer, M, Hoffenheim — No game this week. Season: 1 game.

Norwegian First Division

Zarek Valentin, D, FK Bodø/Glimt — Started and played 90 minutes in Sunday’s 2-0 loss to IL Hødd. Season: 19 games, 19 starts, 10 clean sheets. Cup: 3 games, 3 starts, 1 clean sheet.

Swedish Superettan

Billy Schuler, M, Hammarby IF — No game this week. Season: 10 games, 7 starts, 1 goal.

Bobby Warshaw, M, Ängelholms FF — On loan from FC Dallas, no game this week. Season (Ängelholms FF): 2 games, 2 starts, 1 goal. Cup (Ängelholms FF): 1 game. Season (Dallas): 8 games, 1 start.

Swedish Division 1 North

Anthony Allison, F, Umeå FC — Played 28 minutes in Sunday’s 1-1 draw with Eskilstuna City FK.  Season: 16 games, 12 starts, 2 goals, 1 assist.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

*

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>