I sat down with our newest addition, goalkeeper Andy Gruenebaum to talk about what he's looking forward to this season, important things SKC Nation needs to know about him, and why you should call him the "Hebrew Hammer."
Jamila St. Ann: Are you excited to have SKC Nation on your side now, rather than against you?
Andy Gruenebaum: Yeah, it’s one of those things where I remember coming back to play where they really don’t care where you’re from, if you’re not on their team, so it’s great to be on the other side of that. Here now, helping this team win another championship.
JS: Speaking of SKC Nation, give them, the proper pronunciation of your last name, because there are some disagreements.
AG: Well I’m in the school of thought that it’s pronounced “Green-a-baum”, but I know other people in my family even that say “Gru-ne-baum”. But for years, my friends have justcalled me G-baum, just cut out the middle man, and it’s just easier that way.
JS: You roomed with our own Eric Kronberg at the MLS Combine together nine years ago, and last year our GKs roomed together on the road, are you looking forward to sharing a space with Krony again?
AG: If that happens, I’m sure it’ll be fun. It all depends on our sleep schedules. I’m kind of an early riser and I make a big production out of breakfast, it’s my favorite meal of the day. Whoever I room with, I hope is on the same time schedule, so we’ll see.
JS: Our goalkeepers have been given nicknames by SKC nation. Jimmy Nielsen was the ‘White Puma’, Eric Kronberg has been dubbed ‘Krony’ or ‘Kronic’, and Jon Kempin gets referred to as ‘Big Kempin’. Do you have any suggestions for what they should call you?
AG: This nickname stuck with me from college all the way to the Crew, so everyone has called me the “Hebrew Hammer”. My roommates in college started calling me that after they saw this movie called ‘The Hebrew Hammer’, and so that’s how it got started. So that’s what I’ve got going right now.
JS: Last year I asked Eric to give himself a team title and he said, “Eric Kronberg: Team Badass.” Give yourself a Sporting KC team title. “Andy Gruenebaum: Team _________.”
AG: That’s putting me on the spot…*laughs* Just, uh, Team Glad to Be Here.
JS: Describe your personal style. We have a lot of big personalities here, what style does Andy Gruenebaum bring to Sporting KC?
AG: I think I’ll bring a good team presence. I’m all about doing whatever is best for the team and whatever it takes to win. I kind of put my head down and work and whatever role I’m given, I take that on. I’ll try and push other guys as well as myself. That’s always been my mentality and that’s what I hope to bring to this squad.
JS: What’s an embarrassing moment you’d be willing to share with SKC Nation?
AG: *laughs* Go on YouTube and type in ‘Danny Cepero’. I’m most known for being the first goalkeeper to get scored on by another goalkeeper, in MLS history. You can see me do the backstroke, a little bit. That moment, as embarrassing it was, made me mentally stronger. But yeah, it was definitely my most embarrassing moment.
JS: Is there anything else these SKC fans should know about you?
AG: I have a pet rabbit, Roo. People got a kick out of that in Columbus. I know my rabbit loves Sporting Blue already, so I’ll be tweeting out a picture of that soon. She’s a blast.
JS: What are you looking forward to most this season?
AG: Just getting to know these guys, and being apart of a really good team that has the chance to win a championship, year in, year out. Being back home, also. My wife and I are both from here, and we’ve felt like vagabonds up until now.
One year ago today, Sporting Kansas City and Orlando City Soccer Club announced a partnership that would make the Florida-based club the USL PRO affiliate of Sporting KC. A month later, Sporting KC sent four players on loan to Orlando City SC and the rest was history.
For today's #TBT, we're throwing it back to Dom Dwyer, a player instrumental to the success of the partnership. Dwyer broke the USL PRO scoring record in only 13 games, scored four goals in the championship game to give Orlando City the USL PRO title and scored the game-winning goal that sent Sporting KC to the MLS Cup Final.
We're going to call this deal a win-win for everyone!
The guys will be joined by SKC manager Peter Vermes who will discuss the team's recent SuperDraft picks, pre-season, and the upcoming 2014 season. Tonight's show will air from 7-8 p.m. CT on WHB, online at 810WHB.com, and through the 810 WHB App (Android, iOS).
U.S. National Team midfielder Benny Feilhaber reflects on the different role he has this camp as a more veteran presence, his return to his birth country of Brazil, and what he needs to do in order to earn a spot on the World Cup team.
Click here to read the full transcript of the interview with Feilhaber.
The journey to Kansas City has not been a smooth one for Adnan Gabeljic, the St. Lous University Billikens forward who Sporting KC selected with the final pick in the 2014 MLS SuperDraft.
Shortly before Gabeljic was born, his family moved to Croatia. From there, they made their way to Germany before settling into St. Louis. It was in Germany where Gabeljic's budding soccer career began to take shape, which brings us to today's #TBT.
Today, we highlight six-year-old Adnan, who featured for his youth soccer team in Stuttgart, Germany. This photo is courtesy of Gabeljic's Instagram account. Be sure to give him a follow on Instagram and Twitter @gabsnation.
Sporting Kansas City has selected St. Louis University's Adnan Gabeljic with the 38th overall pick in the 2014 MLS SuperDraft. The forward was born in Yugoslavia but grew up in the St. Louis area where he earned several honors playing at Mehlville High School before playing four seasons for the Bilikens.
For more on Gabeljic, check out the highlight video below.
With the MLS Combine set to kick off Friday afternoon in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., we're throwing it back to the 2012 MLS Combine when a speedy forward named Dom Dwyer impressed a Sporting KC staff that took the British striker with the No. 16 overall pick in the 2012 MLS SuperDraft.
Currently, five Sporting Kansas City players (Besler, Zusi, Sinovic, Feilhaber, Myers) are in southern California participating in the U.S. Men's National Team January camp. The camp includes 26 players, many from MLS, and will culminate on February 2nd with a friendly against Korea Republic.
Check out the video below as Besler, Zusi, and USMNT manager Jurgen Klinsmann share their thoughts on the camp.
It's only two months away until Sporting Kansas City kicks off the 2014 Major League Soccer season against the Seattle Sounders. The team will begin the MLS campaign in early March and conclude in late October as they aim to repeat as MLS Cup Champions.
Here a few matches to circle on your calendar this season.
Sporting KC at Seattle Sounders (March 8 - 3 p.m. CT - NBC Sports Network)
A great way to kick off the MLS season as this match will feature two of the most talented squads in MLS including USMNT regulars Clint Dempsey, Brad Evans, Matt Besler, and Graham Zusi.
Sporting KC vs Real Salt Lake (April 5 - 7:30 p.m. CT - KMCI-TV)
An early season rematch of MLS Cup 2013 in which RSL will be looking for revenge at Sporting Park.
Sporting KC at Houston Dynamo (June 6 - 7:30 p.m. CT - KMCI-TV)
These two teams have built up one of the best rivalries in MLS and it's always a fiercely contested matchup.
Sporting KC vs LA Galaxy (July 19 - 6 p.m. CT - ESPN2)
The previous two MLS Cup champions meet in one of the marquee matches of the summer.
Sporting KC vs New York Red Bulls (October 26 - 7:30 p.m. CT - ESPN)
The regular season finale against the top two sides in the East from 2013 could have playoff and/or Supporters' Shield implications.
Which of these matches are you most looking forward to? Let us know by selecting your choice with the poll below.