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.