Crew SC's Ethan Finlay finds silver lining in 100th MLS appearance

BRIDGEVIEW, Ill. – Ethan Finlay didn’t want to mark his 100th MLS appearance on Saturday night with the performance or result that ensued. Columbus Crew SC, still winless in 2016, ended their visit to the Chicago Fire with a 0-0 draw. But the Columbus Crew’s tricky winger remained upbeat after the hard-earned road point.

Finlay provided one of Crew SC’s few attacking highlights of the night: His long-range strike in the second half forced Fire goalkeeper Matt Lampson to turn acrobatically around the post to keep the visitors scoreless.

The Crew enjoyed 58 percent of the night’s possession and out-shot their hosts 12 to 4. But still, Finlay lamented his side’s lack of conviction in the final third as they search for their first win of the season.

“I think we created some good movements and we had some good crossing attempts, and I thought we put pressure on their backline and on their goalkeeper, but we were unfortunate a little bit,” Finlay told

“It was one of those games where you just need a bounce to go your way to get you off with three points, but it didn’t quite happen for us today,” he said. “The positives, though, are that it’s a road point that we were able to get in a tough place to play, on a standard Chicago windy day—and it was not easy for either team to play good soccer out there.”

The 25-year-old made his debut for Columbus in 2012, and his star his risen steadily since. His creativity and eye for goal earned him a USMNT call-up earlier this year.  

“It’s great, I look forward to the next 100,” Finlay said, of reaching his MLS appearance milestone. “I entered the league five seasons ago, and you don’t know exactly how your story is going to be written, how it’s going to go. I think mine has had its ups and downs, and to get to 100 career appearances, not only in the MLS but with this great club, Columbus Crew SC, I’m thrilled.”

Meanwhile Crew SC head coach Gregg Berhalter held Finlay up as one of his side’s better performers against a dogged Fire, who were set up with defense a priority.

“I thought Ethan was active today, I think this was his best game so far this season,” Berhalter said. “He’s getting into form, and that’s going to be important for us because he is so valuable for us.”

“What he gives us is a work rate. He gives us great timing of runs and in front of goal he has very good execution,” he added. “We’re proud of Ethan. We’re proud of everything he’s accomplished so far in his young MLS career, and we’re excited to see how he continues to progress.”