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Ethan Finlay is headed home.
Minnesota United FC has announced it has acquired the Duluth-born midfielder from Columbus Crew SC in a trade for $425,000 of combined Targeted Allocation Money and General Allocation Money on Wednesday.
Finlay, 27, has spent his entire pro career the past six years of his professional career in Columbus after being selected tenth overall in the 2012 MLS SuperDraft. He first broke out under Crew SC coach and sporting director Gregg Berhalter in 2014, leading the team with 11 goals and seven assists en route to sharing the club’s Golden Boot. Finlay then became the second player in Columbus history to tally double figures in goals (12) and assists (13) in 2015 while earning a spot on the MLS Best XI and an All-Star appearance. That season, Crew SC went to MLS Cup, where they were defeated by the Portland Timbers.
Finlay has also earned three caps for the US national team since 2016.
"I have been a big fan of his for a long time," said Minnesota coach Adrian Heath. "He gets into pockets of space and is incredibly dangerous on the attack. Another huge plus for us is that he has been to finals in MLS and he has been at a club where they play a similar brand of football.
"Last but not least, the fact that he is from Duluth and knows where he is coming is huge. He wants to come to Minnesota. We are a different part of the world up here in Minnesota and he wants to come here. We didn’t have to sell anything to him, which speaks volumes.”
This season, he made 19 appearances (14 starts) as a right midfielder, attacking midfielder and right wingback and has a goal and an assist. He leaves a club that enters Week 23 just above the playoff line in the Western Conference to join a Loons side that is currently 10 points below that line in the West, but one that plays just 150 miles from his hometown.
“I'm thrilled to be joining a club that is in its early stages in Major League Soccer,” said Finlay. “The opportunity to play in the state I was born is a boyhood dream come true. I hope to make an immediate impact on the field.”
Berhalter expressed his appreciation for Finlay's service in a statement on the club's website.
"Ethan is one of the best professionals that I’ve worked with since joining the club four years ago," he said. "He played a big role in defining the club’s style of play and its success on the field."