Ryan Finley started his collegiate career at Duke University but was suspended indefinitely for disciplinary issues after his sophomore season. While at Duke, Finley scored 28 goals in only 39 games. He was named the ACC Offensive Player of the Year and earned All-ACC First Team honors in 2010.
Finley transferred to the University of Notre Dame for his final two years of college soccer. There, he (almost eerily) also scored 28 goals in 39 appearances despite not starting a single game. Still, Finley scored 21 goals in 2012 and was a MAC Hermann Trophy finalist.
Here is a good highlight video of Finley showing his finishing ability at Notre Dame. He does not necessarily have a big physical presence or great dribbling skills, but he knows where to be at the right time and has the technical skill to score goals in tight situations. Finley’s playing style is similar to Chris Wondolowski’s.
Although Finley definitely has a knack for scoring, pundits questioned this pick for a few reasons. Crew head coach Robert Warzycha is notorious for sitting players who he deems are not responsible enough or who do not practice hard enough in practice. With that and Finley’s track record in mind, one has to wonder how long Warzycha will put up with him before the forward is in Warzycha’s inescapable doghouse.
When the 9th pick came around for Columbus, another highly-rated forward was still available. Eriq Zavaleta scored 28 games in 46 games in two seasons at Indiana University. A prolific scorer for one of the nation’s best college teams seemed like a no-brainer selection, and some scouts also see Zavaleta as a possible defender in MLS. The Seattle Sounders traded their 16th pick and allocation money to Toronto for the 10th pick in order to snag Zavaleta.
Columbus used their 28th overall second-round pick on Drew Beckie. Beckie played four seasons at the University of Denver, becoming a full-time starter his sophomore year. He can play both center back and right back, giving the Crew another athletic defensive option. Born in Regina, Saskatchewan, Beckie has also represented Canada’s U-17 national team and has an extremely close resemblance to actor Ben Affleck.
Here is a short highlight video of Beckie, featuring a few goals and some good crosses from the right wing:
Before the draft began, the New England Revolution traded their 4th overall pick and allocation money to Toronto FC for the 1st overall pick. With the selection, the Revolution picked Andrew Farrell, a First-Team All-American defender out of the University of Louisville.
In other Crew news, two midfielders may or may not be on the roster by MLS First Kick. Milovan Mirosevic is currently in his native Chile and has not yet reported to Columbus for training camp. While he is under contract with the Crew for 2013 and team officials still expect him to be returning, numerous rumors and reports from Chile state otherwise. Meanwhile, Dilly Duka has been surrounded by trade rumors this offseason. The most common one involves the Crew trading him and allocation money to the Chicago Fire for speedy forward Dominic Oduro.
Former Crew winger Robbie Rogers has been released by Leeds United in England. After joining Leeds in 2012, Rogers spent most of his time on loan to Stevenage. Columbus still holds his rights if he comes back to MLS, but he is not expected to rejoin the team. Instead, he will most likely be used as trade bait. In 106 games with the Crew from 2007 to 2011, Rogers scored 13 goals and picked up 16 assists. He is still only 25 years old.