When Stuart Findlay was acquired by the Philadelphia Union last February, several fans from his former club in Scotland were enthusiastically reaching out to say how much fans here would enjoy the left-footed center back.
Through no fault of his own, the Scottish international didn’t see the field a lot in his first season in MLS. While he was brought in to be the left-footed center back starter the team hadn’t had since Auston Trusty, Jack Elliott’s Defender of the Year-worthy season playing next to Jakob Glesnes made it tough for Findlay to get minutes.
Findlay was limited to 8 appearances and 464 minutes during the regular season.
That’s probably less than ideal for a player the Union paid a reported $300,000 transfer fee to acquire and who occupied an international spot and was the third highest paid defender on the roster at $425,000 in guaranteed compensation.
But as he showed in the Eastern Conference final with an inspired performance playing alongside veteran Aurelien Collin, the talent and the intangibles are certainly there. He’s also responsible for one of the best pieces of content the Union produced all year too.
Though the result of the game — and the reason Findlay and Collin both started and played the full 90 — left a bitter taste, the heart on display was nothing short of brilliant. In fact, one of the lasting memories of the match happened after it was over when Findlay ran toward the sidelines, gestured the fans in the stands and grabbed the badge on his chest. He then stood near the River End giving applause for their efforts creating arguably one of the loudest environments in the history of the venue.
Since the season ended, Findlay’s name has been burning up the Google alerts with repeated reports about interest back home in the United Kingdom. The reports have cited his lack of playing time as reason for his possible transfer back but for Findlay’s part he’s been pretty consistently clear that he’s happy in Philadelphia and ready to battle for more playing time in 2022.
Assuming he does return, he’ll have a fanbase firmly behind him rooting him on.
Read our other 2021 Season Player Reviews at brotherlygame.com/player-reviews.