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State pro notes: Finlay scores, Conner makes MLS debut in draw

03/05/2017, 10:00pm CST
Ethan Finlay

Ethan Finlay (Marshfield) didn't need long to score his first goal of the Major League Soccer season.

Finlay headed home a cross by Justin Meram in the 17th minute Saturday afternoon, giving host Columbus Crew SC the early lead in their opener against the Chicago Fire. (Watch highlights below) The match ended in a 1-1 draw.

Meram got the ball on the left flank and served in a great ball that Finlay went up and nodded past new Chicago goalkeeper Jorge Rodrigo Bava for his 30th goal in MLS play. Finlay has made 132 appearances (89 starts) in his six-year career, and all of his goals have come in the past four seasons – he had six goals in 2016 after scoring 12 in 2015 and 11 in 2014.

On Twitter: @EthanFinlay13

  • Fire midfielder Drew Conner (UW) made his MLS debut in the draw with Columbus, coming on for John Goossens in the final moments of second-half stoppage time. The 23-year-old Conner, an MLS Homegrown signing, made the bench several times for Chicago as a rookie last season. On Twitter: @Drew_Conner1
  • Casey Beyers (UW) signed with Orange County SC, becoming the second former Wisconsin college soccer goalkeeper to join the USL club this season. Beyers, 22, posted a 1.60 goals-against average and four clean sheets in 28 career appearances with the Badgers. He is expected to back up Charlie Lyon (Marquette) for Orange County SC, whose keeper coach is former Milwaukee Wave legend Victor Nogueira.
  • Midfielder Jordan Dover (UW-Green Bay) signed with USL's Rochester Rhinos after spending last season with Durham United FA in League1 Ontario. A native of Ajax, Ontario, he had five goals and one assist in 63 appearances (58 starts) for the Phoenix from 2012 to '15, and had a goal and two assists with semi-pro Durham United in 2016. "Jordan brings a strong work ethic to our midfield," Rhinos coach Bob Lilley said in a news release. "I'm looking forward to working with him to help his progression, as he will provide important depth to our squad over what is going to be a very long season." On Twitter: @J_dover
  • David Caban (Kenosha Tremper/UW) left the U.S. late Wednesday night, arrived in Sweden on Thursday and was in the starting lineup for his new club  IFK Åmål on Friday. And the 24-year-old midfielder ended up playing the full 90 minutes and scoring his first professional goal, a 74th-minute equalizer, but IFK Åmål dropped a 2-1 decision to host Färgelanda IF in a Dalslands Sparbanks Cup opener. Teammate Carl Schneider (Madison La Follette/UW) is recovering from an injury and hasn't yet joined the team in Sweden. IFK Åmål plays host to Brålanda IF on March 18 in the second of its three Group A matches in the 16-team regional tournament. On Twitter: @david_caban
  • Andrija Novakovich (Muskego) continues to be in fine form for the Reading Under-23 team in England. The 20-year-old scored the first two goals as the Royals routed host Stoke City 4-1 in a Premier League Cup group finale Thursday. (Watch highlights below) Novakovich ran onto a through ball from Andy Rinomhota and finished in the 30th, and 10 minutes later the striker worked past a defender and scored again – it was his 13th goal in 26 appearances in all competitions this season. Reading (4-1-1) won Group H and is one of 16 teams in the draw for the knockout rounds. On Twitter: @AndrijaNovakov3
    • Sam Brotherton (UW) and the Sunderland Under-23 team also will be in the draw for the Premier League Cup knockout rounds. The New Zealand international played all 90 minutes on the backline as the Black Cats blanked Blackburn Rovers 1-0 on Thursday to finish atop Group B with a 3-1-2 record. On Twitter: @SamBrotherton96

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