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Ryan Finley "Columbus Crew"


"Ryan Finley" Columbus Crew
 Ryan Finley has been a student of Universal Soccer  Academy since 2008. Before joining Universal Soccer  Academy, Ryan was a first class striker that was part of  the USSF’s residency program in Bradenton.  Since joining  the Academy, Ryan has gone on to represent the USA at  the U17 and U20 levels and has played for Duke and  Notre Dame where he established himself as one of the  top goal scorers in collegiate soccer.
 Ryan’s performances at the college level led to him being  picked in the first round of Major League Soccer (MLS)  super draft by the Columbus Crew. Ryan just spent an  entire season with the crew adapting to the demands of  the pro game and will return to Universal Soccer Academy  in the off season to rebuild his game in preparation for  his second season as a pro.
Ryan you have been  training at Universal Soccer Academy for 5 years now. How has the Academy helped you in Soccer and in life?
The academy has really improved my game and has for sure led to have better morals in life.
You were part of the United States Residential Program at the IMG Academy in Florida form ages 14 to 16. When you came out you joined Universal. How did Universal continue to improve you? What did your training program focus on?
Once I came back from Residency I needed high level of training again and luckily I was able to find the academy which has done wonders for me. Technically my skills improved a lot just by being with the ball every day, my finishing has improved greatly, and mostly my fitness has increased dramatically.
You missed out on selection to the U-17 National Team and the regained your spot. Did Universal play a big part in getting you back on the team?
It was hard not being picked for the u17, but working with Universal throughout my club season allowed me to get noticed for the National Team again. When I did get invited into camps I knew I was fit and ready to go after preparing with the academy. 
You played for PDA Soccer Club last year while improving your personal game at Universal. The goal set to you by Universal Director James Galanis was for you to become the top goal scorer in the entire US Soccer Academy competition and you achieved this. How did it feel to be the top goal scorer and achieving the goal set by James?
I definitely could not have achieved this goal without training with the academy. It was an honor to be the top goal scorer and very fulfilling to achieve James’s goal for me. 
Would you of scored so many goals if you only attended team training and didn’t have the Academy to focus on you individually?
No, I think while I got the training with my team and developed great team chemistry, at the academy I was able to work on my individual game that needed improvement such as finishing. 
So hard work pays off?
Definitely, coming to the academy every day I know I am going to be working hard and getting better, but the one thing that sticks out to me is how much I enjoy coming to the academy everyday even if it is running in 100 degrees heat. I really love being a part of the Universal Soccer Academy. 
You are now playing at Duke University. How is it going?
Duke is going well, we have a young team and a good recruiting class coming in we will be dangerous next year. 
You are surrounded by quality players and coaches at Duke. What goals have you set for this year?
I think as a team we are capable to win a national championship and personally I would like to score more goals than last year. 
You have played in many International competitions. Scoring against Top National Teams and Club Teams such Real Madrid and Barcelona. Do you have aspirations of playing in Europe some day?
I think that’s the dream of any kid in my situation, my dream has always been to play in Europe, I wouldn’t put in so many hours if I didn’t want to make it to the big time.
 What word of wisdom would you have for aspiring youngstars?
I would say you have to work hard and you have to love what you do. You have to be positive and upbeat even when things are going wrong and just always smile.











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