January 17, 2013 - Major League Soccer (MLS) - Columbus Crew SC
INDIANAPOLIS - The Columbus Crew bolstered its roster on Thursday with two selections in the 2013 Major League Soccer SuperDraft, as the Black & Gold added University of Notre Dame forward Ryan Finley and University of Denver product Drew Beckie. Finley, the 2012 Big East Offensive Player of the Year and a MAC Herman Trophy Finalist, was selected ninth overall. He joins Beckie, who was chosen with the 28th overall selection from the University of Denver.
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.
"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. "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."
Beckie joins the Crew from the University of Denver, where he played in 78 games over four years. As a defender, Beckie recorded seven goals and six assists in his college career. Internationally, Beckie has represented Canada at the U-17, U-20 and U-23 levels. Most recently, he represented Canada in its 2012 Olympic qualifying effort.
"Another priority position for us was centerback, and Drew is a strong fit in that role," said Crew President and General Manager Mark McCullers. "He's a versatile player that can also play rightback, and we think he has strong potential and will provide cover across our backline."
McCullers continues, "I'm thrilled with our Draft selections. We had specific objectives coming in and we fulfilled those. We're anxious to get these guys in camp, get them acclimated and see what they can do."
Finley and Beckie are set to join the Crew for the opening of preseason training on Monday, January 21. The club departs for Bradenton, Fla. on Thursday, January 24 to launch the first of two preseason trips to the Sunshine State. Full preseason schedule information, along with comprehensive coverage of the 2013 MLS SuperDraft, can be found via TheCrew.com/DraftCentral.