Storylines is so happy to see an old friend tomorrow, though sad to see him in green and black. It’s always nice to see a fellow Minnesotan living their best life, and Duluth native Ethan Finlay is doing just that.
After 11 years in Major League Soccer, Finlay has certainly left his mark. He became just the sixth active player to reach the 50 goals and 50 assists threshold a few weeks ago, picking up goal contributions with three different teams: the Columbus Crew, right here at Minnesota United, and most recently down in Austin.
Finlay’s soccer journey began when he was just a kid. Though he was born in Minnesota, he moved to North Carolina with his family until the age of 12, when they returned to the Midwest and settled in Marshfield, Wisconsin. The little town of less than 20,000 people was hours away from competitive soccer, but that did little to dispel his dreams.
When he was 15, Finlay’s parents began driving him to Milwaukee to make sure he could compete at the level he needed. The three-hour drive was a big commitment, but big dreams often require sacrifices of equal size.
For the young attacker, the time commitment was inconsequential. He trained locally in Marshfield whenever he wasn’t making the trek to play with FC Milwaukee, making sure that each day would bring him closer to his end goal. He’d go on to win two U.S. Youth Soccer regional titles with his club, making waves and turning heads.
After his successful youth career, Finlay accepted a scholarship to play for the Creighton Bluejays. He notched 43 goals in just 79 games, earning national recognition and catapulting himself into the MLS SuperDraft conversation.
In 2012, the Columbus Crew selected Finlay with the 10th overall pick. He’d spend five years in Ohio’s capital, reaching MLS Cup in 2015 and earning MLS All-Star recognition in the same season. After 150 appearances and 30 goals for the Black and Gold, it was time for a homecoming.
Finlay joined MNUFC ahead of the 2017 season, helping to finally bring Major League Soccer to the state of his birth. He became an integral part of the team, scoring 19 goals in 95 games during his four-and-a-half-year spell with the club.
Now tearing it up for Austin FC, it seems that the 32-year-old winger still has plenty left in the tank. With more than 250 MLS appearances, three national team caps, and plenty of exciting moments throughout his career, Ethan Finlay’s career presents a wonderful example of how hard work and dedication can lead to great things.
Storylines wishes Mr. Finlay nothing but success in all of his endeavors. However, it would be best for everyone if he saved his next goal contribution for another match. Thanks in advance, Ethan!
Austin FC vs. Minnesota United FC
Q2 Stadium | Austin, Texas
05.31.2023 | MLS Game #15
7:30 p.m. CT (MLS Season Pass, 1500 ESPN)