COLUMBUS – Ethan Finlay found himself among the likes of Columbus Crew SC legends on Saturday night in the match against New York City FC. The midfielder’s assist to Ola Kamara in the 49th minute put him into the 30-30 club for goals and assists.
Only four other players in the history of the Black & Gold can claim ownership to the 30-30 club. Those members include Jeff Cunningham (64 goals, 44 assists), Brian McBride (62 goals, 45 assists), Guillermo Barros Schelotto (33 goals, 41 assists) and Finlay’s current teammate Federico Higuaín (40 goals, 39 assists).
Finlay spoke about the milestone following the contest.
"It’s great, it’s an accomplishment,” Finlay said. “Not something I maybe set out to do when I entered the league, but its good company and we look for more of those in both categories.”
Higuaín provided some help to Finlay on his 30th assist when he dummied and fooled the New York City defense and drew attention away from Kamara, the eventual scorer.
Crew SC Sporting Director and Head Coach Gregg Berhalter spoke about Higuaín’s dummy attempt and the goal following the contest.
“Great goal,” Berhalter said. “I’m not sure he was credited with the assist, it looked like to me he touched that ball to Ola, but still heads-up play to let it go.”
Saturday marked Finlay’s first start since April 8 on the road against the Chicago Fire. The 26-year-old has had success in his career against New York City, owning three goals and two assists coming into the match.
Finlay also owns one goal in eight games played this year, a header scored in the opening match of the season at home against the Fire, his 30th as a member of Crew SC.
Saturday also marked the debut of newly-acquired forward Kekuta Manneh. The 22-year-old was traded to Crew SC from the Vancouver Whitecaps on March 30. Manneh entered the game during the 81st minute as a substitution for Finlay.
“I’m just glad that I finally got some minutes and to get that out of the way,” Manneh said. “Now I can hopefully get some more minutes next game and be a big part of this team going forward.”
Manneh was happy to be seeing in-game MLS action once again with Crew SC.
“I love this game, that’s why I’m playing it,” Manneh said. “Any time I’m on the field I’m happy and I like to enjoy myself while I’m playing and entertain the fans and try to get something out of it and help the team win the game.”
Saturday night was also Manneh’s first opportunity to play in front of the Black & Gold faithful at MAPFRE Stadium.
“I thought the crowd was amazing,” Manneh said. “They lifted us when we needed them – we need to keep that up and hopefully we get a good result next game.”
Crew SC will remain at home for next week’s matchup against the New England Revolution on May 6 at 7:30 p.m. ET at MAPFRE Stadium