Ethan Finlay added another individual honor to his collection on Sunday, the third of the past six months for the Columbus Crew SC winger. After earning his first MLS All-Star selection in July, and being named to the MLS Best XI team in December, on Sunday, Finlay made his MNT debut in a 3-2 win against Iceland.
“It was great. It was a lot of fun, a great experience,” Finlay said afterwards. “But more importantly to come out with a win was a nice little bonus.”
Finlay was rewarded with his first National Team call-up for January Camp after finishing the 2015 MLS season with 12 goals and 13 assists while playing mostly as a winger in Columbus.
“Ethan really impressed in training,” Klinsmann said of the 25 year-old. “He was all over the place, he had endless energy. And sometimes you actually have to slow him down and say, ‘Ethan, you don’t need to go 200 miles an hour.’ But it shows his character. He wants to really give everything he has and wants to prove a point. He was a bit nervous, too, which is of course normal because of his first cap. But it was definitely the right step into this group of guys.”
Finlay was joined by left back Kelly Acosta as MNT debutants in the starting XI vs. Iceland. His Crew SC teammate Tony Tchani also made his U.S. debut when he entered in the second half, as did U-23 forward Jerome Kiesewetter.“A win is a win. I know it’s early, it’s our first game of 2016 for the National Team. As a group we’re happy with it,” Finlay said of the game. “There’s obviously still things that we need to work on. But I think it’s a good start. Anytime you can start with a win it’s important.”