After only gaining a point during their three-game road trip, Columbus Crew SC came back home and was able to gain a full three points by defeating their Illinois counterparts the Chicago Fire by a score of 3-1.
The match marked the first game since the trade of midfielder Ethan Finlay.
Columbus Crew SC Try To Adjust To Life Without Ethan Finlay
The summer transfer window ended this past Wednesday. Columbus did some work by acquiring winger Pedro Santos for a club record $2.4 million transfer fee. They also traded one of their best-known midfielders in Ethan Finlay.
Columbus announced the trade on deadline day. It was a surprise that hit Crewville and the team itself.
— Columbus Crew SC (@ColumbusCrewSC) August 9, 2017
Head Coach and Sporting Director Gregg Berhalter told the media after training, “For me personally, I’m going to miss him.” Now, Columbus must adjust to life without him. Ethan was traded to expansion side Minnesota United FC.
After the match against the Fire, Justin Meram — who scored Columbus’ 1,000th goal in club history — received a text message from Finlay just moments after the final whistle congratulating his former teammate on the vital win.
How Can Columbus Survive?
Well, it’s simple. You just keep looking ahead. Columbus has to keep pushing forward as they look to make a push to the MLS Cup Playoffs. With four of their last nine matches being against teams in the playoff race, Columbus must be on their toes ready to battle.
With the absence of Finlay, Columbus must now rely on their young guns in Niko Hansen, Cristian Martinez, Designated Player Pedro Santos, and Kekuta Manneh.
As Columbus lean on their depth players, they must also lean on each other. It’s a part of soccer to see your friends come and go. But when you see your best friend leave, it hurts a little more. Just ask Meram, who established a great bond with Finlay.
Did Ethan Finlay Have An Impact On Columbus Crew SC?
Berhalter will tell you that all the guys play their part that defies Crew SC. But Ethan was different.
“He was a great contribution to our playing style, interpreting our playing style.” The Duluth native had an outstanding career with Columbus; Being named to the MLS Best XI and playing in the 2015 MLS All-Star game, Finlay has established a household name for himself.
This season has been rough for Finlay, who has recorded only one goal and one assist so far. But don’t let that stat deter you away from his previous seasons with the Black and Gold.
So as Columbus looks on to a new life, Ethan looks on to his own as he tries to revamp his career donning the Loons colors of Minnesota United.
Columbus is on the road next week as they take on Orlando City SC (7:30 pm EST | MLS Live) before returning home midweek to host the Los Angeles Galaxy.