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High Hopes and a Fresh Start: The Story of Ryan Finley

Photo Credit: Pam Moody/

You won’t find a more impressive physical specimen on the pitch than Ryan Finley. His impressive size, strength, and power make him the ideal striker. Strong technique, a good touch, and a killer instinct made him attractive to Chivas USA, which acquired him in a trade with the Columbus Crew on May 8th.

One thing is for certain, Finley is on the verge of greatness. He has proven himself at the college level and in MLS Reserve play, and is now ready to take his place among the stars of Chivas USA. He certainly is going to make the most of the opportunity.

“Some times things don’t always work out the way you want them to, but I am really happy to have a fresh start. Hopefully I can push for more minutes and some starts, continuing to grow and develop as a player.”

Finley was complimentary of his experience in Columbus with the Crew, particularly in his admiration of Crew supporters.

“Columbus has a great fan base. They create a great atmosphere. The supporters are truly part of something. They love the team. They are hardcore soccer fans that know and watch the game. They show up for every game, regular season, Open Cup, even Reserve games.”

While he remembers his time with the Crew fondly, Finley is ready to make a difference in Southern California. Chivas USA certainly could use his help as they currently sit bottom of the table in the Western Conference. The Goats have been struggling with form lately and have found scoring goals (14 all season) to be problematic, something Finley can help with.

Finley is known for making good runs and getting behind the defense. He is calm and composed in front of goal, a clinical finisher. All of these attributes could reinvigorate the Chivas attack and turn things around coming out of the World Cup break.  Finley knows from experience that one player, one moment, one game can make a difference.

“MLS is a funny league. Teams can win three or four games, string some wins together, and give their team a shot at the playoffs.”

That is what the Goats had in mind when completing the trade for Finley and Martin Chavez. Finley is no stranger to Chivas USA head coach Wilmer Cabrera, who worked with Finley when both were involved with the U.S. U-17 National Team. Cabrera knows what Finley is really capable of.

Photo Credit: Jeff Gossel/

Keep in mind that Finley was a superstar at Notre Dame, ranking second nationally in goals (21) and points (46) his senior year. He was a NSCAA All-America First Team selection and a Hermann Trophy finalist.  Most people see the Lumberton, NJ native as one of the best the Fighting Irish have ever produced.

He was also a dominating force in 2013 Reserve League action, finishing with 11 goals. This is in addition to a goal and an assist in 14 first team appearances last season. Simply put, there was a reason why the Crew took him ninth overall in the 2013 MLS SuperDraft.

We’re all excited to see what Finley will do in Southern California. Our guess is that big things are ahead for this player as he takes advantage of a fresh start and a renewed passion for the game.

Category: MLS