By David McCoy

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Minnesota United has made a bunch of moves on its roster this month during the transfer window, but none of them as big as the one to bring back a guy who was born right here in Minnesota.

And he’s quickly making his presence felt.

Yes, it was quite a “Welcome to Minnesota moment” for Ethan Finlay last Sunday in Seattle, scoring in his very first game as a member of Minnesota United.

“I mean, it was great,” Finlay said. “Obviously it’s a dream start, it’s a dream debut.”

But in reality, Finlay doesn’t really need a welcome to Minnesota. He was born here, in Duluth.

ethan finlay Minnesota Uniteds Finlay Makes Triumphant Return Home

Ethan Finlay (credit: CBS)

“We were in the Duluth-Superior until I was about 4 and a half,” he said.

Then he grew up in Marshfield, Wisconsin, two-and-a-half hours east of St. Paul. So this is a bit of a homecoming for him, coming in a trade with Columbus earlier this month. And he’s working to get adjusted to his new team quickly.

“I still think there’s a long ways to go, and I think this is a process that will continue into the 2018 season,” Finlay said. “I still haven’t figured out everyone’s name, you know, top to bottom, and I’m a guy who wants to know anyone and everyone. This is a long-term thing. I think obviously I’m in a good place, I think this team has been an easy place to fit in, and fit in as quickly as I have.”

His new coach was effusive in his praise.

“Good teammate, wants to do well, very positive, brings positive energy, and I just don’t think you can have enough of them on your club,” Adrian Heath said. “And he’s been everything we thought he was, and more. Did I think he’d get a goal in his debut? No. But I do think, and we’ve spoke about it, that if he plays a regular season, with his ability, I expect him to be making goals and scoring double figures.”

Two years ago, Finlay was an all-star in Columbus and even earned a call-up to the U.S. national team. If he does that in Minnesota, the Loons will have gotten a steal.


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