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Former Ocean City Star Drafted #9 Overall In MLS Superdraft

Ryan Finley drafted by the Columbus Crew

The Ocean City Nor’easters are always very proud of the success of our former players as it is our goal to help young soccer stars achieve their dream of playing at the highest levels of the professional game. Ryan Finley drafter #9 Overall in the MLS Draft.

The Ocean City Nor’easters are always very proud of the success of our former players as it is our goal to help young soccer stars achieve their dream of playing at the highest levels of the professional game. A prouder moment could not have been had as the Nor’easters front office watched live and saw former Ocean City forward Ryan Finley be called out as the ninth pick in the MLS Superdraft and become a member of the Columbus Crew.

 
Ryan Finley made his USL PDL debut for Ocean City as a Junior in High School in 2008. Current General Manager Neil Holloway, who has an eye for young talent, was Head Coach at the time and gave Finley his big break. "Ryan was a wonderful talent and we needed to make sure that we gave him a comfortable environment so that he could really flourish and fulfill his potential. Ryan learned from the very good players we had in the squad and I think this really helped him become the player he is today during the critical development age of 16-21."
 
 
Let’s take a moment to look at the top players that helped mould Finley’s playing style. Firstly, ex-pro and one of the PDL’s all-time top goal scorers Byron Carmicheal, who shares hometown roots with Finley in Lumberton, NJ. Future Philadelphia Union player and flying winger Ryan Richter who joined USL Pro side Charleston Battery last season and helped them to a Championship. Midfielder Adam Williamson was selected by New England Revolution in the 2006 MLS Superdraft but came back to Ocean City in 2008. Rock solid defender Tyler Bellamy who plays for Rochester Rhinos in the USL Pro and was named Rookie of the Year in 2010 for the New York team. English defender and long serving captain John Fletcher was a leader and inspiration to all players around him. Finally, Jeremy Ortiz who plays in the Major Indoor Soccer League for Rochester Lancers as well as having represented the US national team in Futsal. Maybe most important of all the playing squad for Finley was current Jersey Premier Soccer Director of Coaching Leon Brown who must have had plenty of advice to pass onto the precocious forward.
 
 
Finley looks back on his time in Ocean City with great fondness, Director of Communications Steve Thurlby caught up with the excited striker after his first practice with Columbus Crew. On his call up to the first team at only 17 years old he told us "to be playing against older, faster players at a young age certainly helped me get better quickly". He went on to talk about the players around him in that successful PDL team, "Byron (Carmichael) was a great role model for me and I learned a lot from him. I worked with him on parts of my game and it was a definite help, I am very thankful to Neil Holloway, Giancarlo Granese and everyone in Ocean City for my time there". Finally Finley discussed his first practice with the Crew "It was my first practice today with the Crew, it was an intense session, some good running and then we got the balls out for the second half. I’m looking forward to seeing how far I can go".
 
 
“Ryan is a player that scores goals – whether he’s starting the game or on the bench, we know he can change a game,” said Crew Head Coach Robert Warzycha on why the Crew chose Finley. “Size never hurts, and Ryan is a forward that doesn’t shy away from physical contact. That’s why he’s so successful and scores goals. We look forward to having him in camp.”
 
 
A potent goal-scorer, Finley recorded 56 goals across his four-year college career at Duke and Notre Dame. During his time in college, Finley earned numerous accolades, including 2012 Big East Offensive Player of the Year, 2012 All Big East and NSCAA All-American First Team selections, 2010 Atlantic Coast Conference Offensive Player of the Year, as well as being named a finalist for the prestigious MAC Hermann trophy in 2012. Representing the United States, the forward has played with the U-17, U-18 and U-20 National Teams and spent two years at the U-17 Residency program in Bradenton, Fla.

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During his time playing for Ocean City and the youth teams Ryan had some great moments. He played for the youth team in an exhibition game against the Inter Milan Academy side and scored in the 1-1 tie against the future Serie A giants in front of 2,800 supporters. The youth team on that day also boasted former Nor’easters Kevin Curran, Giancarlo Granese, Kameron Teel, Gio Tacconelli, Alex Weidman, Voltaire Escalona, Alec Golini, Jerry Guzzo, MJ Nestor, McKenzey Scott, Nick Tierno and Colin McFadden. It was in this competitive environment surrounded by very good players and the culture of the PDL team to bring youth players through that has helped propel Finley to the MLS.
 
 

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Ryan played 9 games in that star studded 2008 season scoring twice. His first goal came in the last home game of the season at Carey Stadium on July 20, 2008 against the in-state rivals NJ Rangers.
Ryan Finley has had a successful college career and everyone here at Ocean City Nor’easters hopes and expects to see Finley succeed as a pro and become a true star of the MLS.
 
 
 
Fun Fact (courtesy of Josh Hakala of www.TheCup.us:
Of all the players drafted in the MLS SuperDraft since the league began in 1996, TheCup.us dig some mild digging and figured out that Byron Carmichael has scored the most Open Cup goals (10) of anyone who has ever been drafted by MLS.

Name: Ryan Finley
Position: Forward
Height: 6’0”
Weight: 180
Born: March 27, 1991 (Lumberton, N.J.)
Hometown: Lumberton, N.J.
Citizenship: United States
Acquired: Selected ninth overall in the 2013 MLS SuperDraft on January 17, 2013
Previous College Experience: University of Notre Dame (2011-12), Duke University (2009-10)

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