Stejskal: New deal in Minnesota gives Ethan Finlay runway in ACL recovery

Minnesota United’s Ethan Finlay was dealt a cruel blow this week, but the 27-year-old winger has some runway to recover from the torn ACL he suffered on Sunday at Seattle.

According to sources, Minnesota re-worked Finlay’s contract after they acquired him from Columbus in exchange for $425,000 of combined allocation money last August, giving him a raise from the deal he signed with Crew SC in January 2016. The sources said the raise was meant to show Minnesota’s commitment to Finlay, whose contract is guaranteed through 2019 with club options for 2020 and 2021.

Finlay was paid $290,000 in 2017 under his old deal, according to the MLS Players’ Union. It’s not clear how much of a raise he was given by Minnesota, but the sources said he won’t be paid more than the maximum budget charge – set at $504,375 for 2018 – during any year in his current deal.

Finlay, who had two goals and one assist in seven games this year and was combining well with new Designated Player Darwin Quintero over the past couple of weeks, is the second Minnesota attacker to go down with a torn ACL this season after Kevin Molino suffered the injury in Week 2.

Minnesota put Molino on the season-ending injury list after he suffered his torn ACL. They could do the same with Finlay. Clubs open a senior roster spot when they put a player on the season-ending injury list, though they remain responsible for the player's cap hit. Including Finlay, Minnesota currently have 19 of 20 senior roster spots filled. 

The Loons will host Houston on Saturday (8 pm ET | Full TV & streaming info).

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