Friday, March 14, 2014

Crew Loan 5, Finley Will Score Goals

Ryan Finley, 9th pick in the 2013 MLS college draft, is one of the five Crew players loaned to Dayton as part of the new affiliation program between MLS and USL Pro.

Finley only saw limited first team duty for the Columbus Crew in 2013 logging 430 regular season minutes, but did earn a goal and an an assist. By the end of the calendar year Ryan made the gameday squad 26 times but started only 3 (vs. all playoff teams Seattle, Houston, KC).

On the critical side, most of Finley's regular season minutes were awkward (he isn't the quickest, arms wide and head down), clunky (getting caught offside or going to ground a tad too easy when in open field) and forced (inconsistent apps, poor MLS coaching). His first touch and ball control also not the best, seems rushed. However, all that said... he finds a way. On the reserve league level last year he tore it up by notching a goal about every 90 minutes. When he was hot - he was hot. Three games he had a brace and one other with a hat trick. To top that off he managed to also get a goal against FA Cup winners Wigan Athletic in a exhibition last summer.

A different player, but just as Vidda Grubin mentioned about Justin Meram a couple weeks ago, Ryan Finley can score goals. He's did it in college to an almost absurd degree, with the Crew Reserves and had decent success in his limited time getting a start on the senior team. There is nothing to tell us that he won't keep that going this year with Dayton in the 3rd tier of US soccer.

Others loaned to Dayton for the time being are newcomers Ross Friedman, Matt Walker and Brad Stuver. Kevan George has also been sent out but, like Finley, is looking to prove himself having been in the league for a couple years.

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