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Report: Ethan Finlay to be traded to Minnesota United

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The Crew SC winger is heading close to home.

MLS: Portland Timbers at Columbus Crew SC Greg Bartram-USA TODAY Sports

Ethan Finlay, once a scoring machine for Columbus Crew SC, went dry in the goals department over the last two season. Now it seems the winger is set to be traded.

According to FourFourTwo’s Paul Tenorio, Finlay will be dealt to Minnesota United in exchange for $300,000 in GAM/TAM.

The Duluth, MN native was drafted by Crew SC with the 10th overall selection in the 2012 MLS SuperDraft out of Creighton University.

Finlay played sparingly for the Black & Gold over his first two years, just 34 combined appearances and six total starts, but burst onto the scene with a goal in a 3-3 tie on the road against the Portland Timbers in May of 2014.

The third-year player quickly became a mainstay under head coach Gregg Berhalter, scoring 10 more goals and adding seven assists in 29 total games, 21 starts, that season. He followed it up with a career year in 2015, which included 12 goals and 13 assists, helping Columbus to host the MLS Cup Final.

Following the success of the 2015 season, Finlay was called into the U.S. Men’s National Team January camp by then head coach Jurgen Klinsmann. He earned three caps for the Red, White and Blue.

But Finlay was unable to retain the form of those two seasons. In 2016, he scored six goals and registered nine assists, losing his starting spot during the year. This season, Finlay scored in the season-opening 1-1 draw with the Chicago Fire, but has only contributed one assist since that game.

Berhalter made it clear that he was pleased with Finlay’s work rate and willingness to fight for his place when he was not in form. But with the fellow wingers Kekuta Manneh and rookie Niko Hansen on the roster and the addition of Designate Player Pedro Santos on Tuesday, it appears Finlay became expendable.

If Tenorio’s numbers are correct, Crew SC are getting back a good return for a player who had likely fallen to third on the depth chart at his position for the Black & Gold.

With this move, Finlay will get to join an MLS expansion side that could use the offense. He will also move closer to home with a change of scenery potentially being exactly what the 27 year old needs to re-spark his career.