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Where Are They Now: Ben Speas

After coming up short in his bid to break into Minnesota’s MLS plans, the former Crew SC player now mans the flank in USL.

Soccer: Minnesota United FC at New York Cosmos
Ben Speas (#10) battles for a ball against the New York Cosmos during the 2016 Minnesota United Season
Andy Marlin-USA TODAY Sports

Editor’s Note: This piece was rather rudely spoiled by a goal scored last night, but we figure you’re interested enough in reading about Ben Speas anyway.

After winning a pair of national titles in college, Ben Speas came into the Columbus Crew as a homegrown full of promise, but didn’t make a massive impact in his four years in Ohio. He turned to the NASL for an opportunity to prove his worth in 2016 in hopes of finding a spot in the top flight the following year with Minnesota United.

What did he do?

Coming into the season, the Loons trusted Speas with the #10 role—going so far as to give him the jersey—as a second striker type. He started out hot, scoring three goals in his first five games in the league including a brace against FC Edmonton. As the season went on, however, he became a more rotational starter, either in favor of playing a more defensive midfield or giving a run out to J.C. Banks. In total, Speas made 27 appearances in all competitions with 17 starts, notching four goals and four assists.

How did he leave?

Speas didn’t make the cut to join the Loons in MLS, and was released at the end of the 2016 season.

Where Is He Now?

Following his release, Speas linked up with NASL club Indy Eleven, playing both as a left winger and #10. He regularly started for the club through 2017, and made the move to USL with the XI following the dissolution of the NASL. This year, he’s taken more of a bench role, splitting time with fellow former Loon Eugene Starikov as the left sided forward, but has been looked to as a center forward option with the recent injury to Justin Braun.