Thursday, October 15, 2015

All About the Postseason for Finlay

After failing out of the 2014 MLS playoffs in just about every way possible, there is no question that this Columbus Crew SC season is all about performance in the 2015 postseason. Looking up and down the standings with two regular season games left there doesn't appear to be a team that the Crew would feel completely comfortable with, especially since dropping three games in the last five.

MLS results leading up to the playoffs matter, of course, but only as much as the players and coaching staff allow because the teams involved (six of the ten in the conference) have been set since July. Throw in a summer schedule that drifts in and out between international matches and a series of club friendlies and you get a regular season that renders individual performance during it sort of... discounted (hey, just like every other sport in the USA!).

With that comes clear opportunity, however. Particularly for Ethan Finlay, whose run of form over the last 18 months has been amazing. An expanded playoff mean guys are going to get a chance to play tense / tight matches that have real consequence. This is something a player who has lit up the regular season in Goals and Assists absolutely needs.

Finlay's form has dropped over the last couple months or so but it matters very little in the bigger picture for the player. Fair or not, his time to show he is among the offensive elite in MLS as well worthy of a call the USMNT is coming up soon.

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