DAVID SMITH - Monday, August 8, 2016
Former Columbus Crew and Chivas USA forward Ryan Finley has penned a short-term contract with Danish club Naestved BK.
Naestved's sporting director Jesper Frisenholm confirmed the move in the local media, giving details about the the team's approach to the signing and hopes for the 25 year-old forward, who moves from Swedish Superettan club Ängelholms FF.
"We have made an agreement that initially applies to the rest of this year," Frisenholm clarified, adding "we would like to just see how he fits into our style of play."
"It is different from the Swedish first division, where it can be a bit more primitive," he continued, "but our hope is that it can be a long stay."
Finley himself is also eager to make the most of the opportunity to play more regularly at what he sees as a more skilled level than the level where he had been playing, and earn a long-term contract with the club.
"I look forward to trying my hand at the level of the Danish 1st Division," Finley stated. "I saw the game against Hobro and I think that the level seems to fit me very well. They will also play a bit more football in this division, and it suits me well."
Finley was originally drafted by Columbus Crew with the ninth overall pick in the 2013 MLS Superdraft, however failed to establish himself as a regular starter throughout two full seasons with the Crew and later at Chivas USA, and eventually joined the Swedish second-tier side Ängelholms FF at the beginning of 2016.
He would go onto score 4 goals in 15 appearances, nearly all from the starting role, which was enough to turn the heads of the small-town Danish club.
Naestved plays in the second tier of the Danish system, and is currently in the middle of the division's standings with a win, loss and draw in first three games. They have not been short of goals, scoring three in each of their last two games, enough to lead the division through the first three games.
However, with their usual starting striker Stefan Nygaard set to miss time due to miss some time with a broken wrist, the team has been on the market for attacking reinforcements.
Media reports suggest that it will still take several weeks to sort out his residence and work permit before he can begin playing for the team, however this will still leave him close to 15 games to make his case before the onset of the league's winter break in late-November.