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Crew SC signs Ethan Finlay to contract extension

Columbus Crew SC today announced that it has signed Ethan Finlay to a contract extension, prolonging the midfielder's tenure in Black & Gold. Since the Marshfield, Wisconsin native's first Major League Soccer goal, on May 17, 2014 at Portland, his regular-season totals of 23 goals and 20 assists represent a combined amount (43) only exceeded by two other players in the League over that timespan: 2014 MLS Landon Donovan MVP Robbie Keane (55) and 2014 MLS Golden Boot winner Bradley Wright-Phillips (44). Per club and MLS policy, additional terms of the deal were not disclosed.
 
Finlay, 25, joined Crew SC as the 10th overall selection in the 2012 MLS SuperDraft on January 12, 2012. In 2014, the midfielder experienced a breakout campaign under Sporting Director and Head Coach Gregg Berhalter, notching 11 goals and seven assists in 29 appearances (21 starts), sharing the club's Golden Boot award with Federico Higuain.
 
In 2015, Finlay built on his success to register 12 goals and 13 assists during the MLS regular season, establishing new career highs. He was named as a 2015 AT&T MLS All-Star as well as 2015 MLS Best XI, receiving both honors for the first time. Finlay is currently with the United States Men's National Team at its annual January camp after earning his first international call-up last week.
 
“Ethan has performed at an extremely high level over the past two seasons and we are pleased to have him commit to the club long term,” said Sporting Director and Head Coach Gregg Berhalter. “He is an important part of the core of this team, has embraced the playing style and embodied the team culture from day one. We feel his national recognition is a result of his day-to-day efforts and we look forward to helping him build on his performances in 2016 and beyond.”
 
Finlay's 2015 totals of 12 goals and 13 assists represented just the second-ever individual season in Black & Gold history with double-digits in both categories, joining Jeff Cunningham in 2001, who recorded 10 tallies and 13 helpers. League-wide, only three other players joined Finlay at the double-digit plateau in both goals and assists in 2015: Sebastian Giovinco, Benny Feilhaber and Clint Dempsey.
 
AUDIO FROM COLUMBUS CREW SC MIDFIELDER ETHAN FINLAY: http://bit.ly/FinlayExtensionAudio
 
In the Audi 2015 MLS Cup Playoffs, Finlay scored the series-tying goal against the Montreal Impact in the 77th minute of the Second Leg at MAPFRE Stadium, sending the contest to extra time and helping Crew SC advance. Earlier in the season, the midfielder made his first-ever AT&T MLS All-Star Game appearance, playing 45 minutes against Barclays Premier League squad Tottenham Hotspur at Dick's Sporting Goods Park in Commerce City, Colorado.
 
“I've enjoyed my time at Columbus Crew SC and I'm honored to receive this extension,” said Finlay. “I hope we'll have many more good years ahead of us and I'm happy to be part of this organization for years to come.”
 
On September 19, 2015, Finlay scored his 20th lifetime goal in Black & Gold, becoming the seventh person in club history to reach 20 career goals and 20 career assists. In doing so, he joined a club previously including Brian McBride, Jeff Cunningham, Guillermo Barros Schelotto, Brian Maisonneuve, Federico Higuain and Eddie Gaven.
 
Finlay won MLS Player of the Week in Week Eight of the 2015 campaign following a two-goal, one-assist performance on April 25 at MAPFRE Stadium against the Philadelphia Union. He has been nominated for the Etihad Airways MLS Player of the Month award four times throughout his MLS career, including three times in 2015 (April, July, October).
 
Internationally, Finlay received his first-ever call-up to the United States Men's National Team by head coach Jürgen Klinsmann on January 6, 2016. The midfielder is currently at the camp, which is being held in Carson, California and runs through February 6. The camp includes friendlies against Iceland and Canada. Finlay is joined in Carson by teammates Tony Tchani and Wil Trapp, with the trio representing the most players from any one MLS club on the camp roster.
 
Before joining Columbus, Finlay appeared in 79 matches (all starts) as a student-athlete at Creighton University, scoring 43 goals. During his senior season in 2011, the midfielder led the Bluejays to their first College Cup appearance since 2002 with a 21-2-1 record. Finlay was named as a MAC Hermann Trophy finalist that season, and in 2012, he won the Fred Ware Award as Nebraska's top college athlete.
 
Preparation for the 2016 Major League Soccer campaign continues with the 2016 adidas MLS Player Combine through January 12 followed by the 2016 MLS SuperDraft on January 14. The Black & Gold begin their preseason with entrance physicals and testing on January 22 before heading to Lakewood Ranch, Florida for their first camp from January 23 - February 5. After that camp, Crew SC trains at SuperKick in Powell from February 8-12 before departing to participate in the Desert Diamond Cup from February 15-27. The Black & Gold begin their 21st season on Sunday, March 6 at Portland and return home for the Opening Match at MAPFRE Stadium on Saturday, March 12 against Philadelphia. Information on Crew SC Season Ticket Memberships in 2016 can be found at http://bit.ly/2016CrewSCSTM.
 
TRANSACTION: Columbus Crew SC signs midfielder Ethan Finlay to a contract extension on January 11, 2016
  
Name: Ethan Finlay
Position: Midfielder
Height: 5'9"
Weight: 165
Born: August 6, 1990 in Duluth, Minnesota
Hometown: Marshfield, Wisconsin
Citizenship: United States
Acquired: Selected in the First Round (10th overall) by Columbus in the 2012 MLS SuperDraft on January 12, 2012
Professional Experience: Columbus Crew SC (2012-present)

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