Hullo to Stuart Findlay, McKenzie’s replacement?

Reports coming out of Scotland confirmed by reputable sources say that the Union have hijacked Heart of Midlothian’s transfer offer for Kilmarnock center back Stuart Findlay, who’ll arrive stateside by the end of the month.

The+Union%27s+newest+signing%2C+Daniel+Gazdag%2C+is+likely+to+be+an+impact+player+who+can+fill+in+the+shoes+of+Brenden+Aaronson.+

Joseph Loverdi

The Union’s newest signing, Daniel Gazdag, is likely to be an impact player who can fill in the shoes of Brenden Aaronson.

In my last column, I mentioned that the Union should have internal options to fill in arguably the most glaring hole in their roster: center back. Jakob Glesnes and Jack Elliott would form a decent if uninspiring pair at the back, but Ernst Tanner and the Union front office always said that they wanted to find a new center-back to push those two and even force their way into the starting eleven. 

 It looks like they’ve got their man now, as reports coming out of Scotland (funnily enough, the normally bogus Scottish Sun) and confirmed by reputable sources say that the Union have hijacked Heart of Midlothian’s transfer offer for Kilmarnock center back Stuart Findlay, who’ll arrive stateside by the end of the month. It’s undisclosed how much money the Union have spent on the Scottish defender, but whatever fee they spent should be a bargain of less than $1 million. 

 Findlay, aged 25, started his career at Scottish giants Celtic, excelling at youth ranks (representing Scotland at almost all youth levels) and on a couple of loans at lower division sides Greenock Morton and Dumbarton before joining Kilmarnock on loan, playing 22 times in the 2015-16 season before signing for then-Championship side Newcastle United on a free. He’d play just once for the Toon Army (in an FA Cup game against Birmingham City in 2017) before going out on loan again to Kilmarnock for the 2017-18 season, scoring 3 goals in 33 appearances before Killie would make the deal permanent. He’s scored 4 more times in 70 more appearances, and has even earned a cap for Scotland, scoring on his debut (a 6-0 win against San Marino). 

 This is a good signing. Findlay’s a proven European player who’s been capped by his country, and the 6’3” center back can also fill in at defensive midfield if need be, as his dribbling and passing skills are above average for his position. The one worrying thing about the Scot is his recent injury record which is why the Union have yet to announce this signing; he’s currently out with an ankle injury, and has missed 25 games over the past two seasons after only missing 3 in his whole career before, with a 2019 hamstring injury in particular disrupting the good form that got him into the Scotland squad. 

 If Findlay can stay healthy and break into the starting eleven, this is a great piece of business by Ernst Tanner and co, addressing a need by bringing in a player with international experience (something the Union prefer to do; rather than buying or trading for MLS-proven players, the Union spend big on foreign players, which has normally worked out bar Marco Fabian). Who knows, maybe Findlay could break back into the Scottish national team here? Anyways, I’m excited to see how Curtin utilizes him once he comes over to the States; this could be a real bargain of a deal if the pieces fall together just right.