2014 is a homecoming for Andy Gruenebaum, as Peter Vermes acquired the Overland Park native from the Columbus Crew this past December. On July 19, he became the first goalkeeper in franchise history to win his first three MLS starts for the club. An eight-year veteran of the league, Gruenebaum featured more than 80 times for the Crew and was part of their 2008 team that won MLS Cup. Gruenebaum enjoyed a breakout season in 2012, becoming Columbus’ starting keeper and recording an MLS-best 124 saves en route to 13 wins and eight shutouts.
2014: MLS regular season: Had a 6-3-2 record as a starter with three shutouts for the club. Made his MLS debut with the club on July 12 in a 2-1 win at Montreal. Notched his second win four days later against his former club as Sporting KC beat Columbus 2-1. After a 2-1 win at Toronto on July 26, he became the second goalkeeper in MLS history to notch regulation wins in each of his first four starts for a new club. Earned his first shutout for the club in a 4-0 win at Chivas USA on Sept. 12. Tied a career-high with seven saves in a 0-0 draw at D.C. United on Oct. 3. Following a 2-0 shutout win over Chicago on Oct. 10, he won MLS Save of the Week and became the first Sporting KC keeper to make at least six saves in two straight MLS contests since Kevin Hartman in June 2008. Gruenebaum ended the season with a 308-minute shutout streak dating back to Sept. 6, just 44 minutes short of the league's longest streak of the year (Dan Kennedy, Chivas USA), and had a league-best .76 save percentage among keepers with at least four starts. MLS Playoffs: Did not feature. CCL: Featured in the 2014-15 group stage, playing 90 minutes in a 3-1 win over Deportivo Saprissa on Sept. 18. Open Cup: Made his club debut and first start in a 2-0 fourth round shutout over Minnesota United FC on June 18. Played 90 minutes in a 3-1 fifth round loss to Portland on June 24. Friendly: Played 45 minutes in a 4-1 Champions Shield defeat to Manchester City on July 23 at Sporting Park.
2013 (Crew): In his eighth season in Black & Gold, Gruenebaum compiled a record of 5-10-5 with four shutouts and a 1.33 goals against average in 21 starts in 2013 – passing Mark Dougherty for third on the club’s all-time list for career starts, appearances, and minutes played in goal. The team’s fifth-most successful goalkeeper all-time in terms of career wins – passing Brad Freidel in 2013, Gruenebaum recorded his 15th career shutout and earned the first of his three ‘Save of the Week’ nominations this season in a win at Chivas USA (March 2). The match against Chivas USA would start a string of 18 consecutive MLS matches that Gruenebaum would start from March 2-July 4. During that stretch, he would record four or more saves in six consecutive matches from March 16-April 27, and record career shutouts No. 16 at Toronto (May 18) and No.17 against Montreal (June 15). He missed the match as a game-time decision against Portland (July 7) with a shoulder injury and returned to action against New England (July 20) where he suffered two stoppage-time goals in the 2-0 loss. After being diagnosed with left shoulder weakness, he missed nine consecutive matches as a result from August 3-September 14, but traveled with the team to assist in goalkeeping coaching duties while not in the gameday 18 at Sporting KC (September 7). He was upgraded to ‘questionable’ ahead of the match against Chicago (September 21), but did not dress and returned as the primary backup for the match at FC Dallas (September 29). He started the club’s 2013 regular-season finale in the 1-0 loss against New England (October 27). He went 1-0-1 with a 2.00 goals against average in two starts in MLS Reserve League and made one start in the 2-1 Fourth Round loss at Chicago (June 13) in the 2013 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup.
2012 (Crew): Gruenebaum enjoyed a breakout season in 2012, starting 33 matches in place of the injured William Hesmer. The netminder recorded a League-high 124 saves on his way to 13 wins and eight shutouts. The veteran was a strong contender in All-Star and MLS Goalkeeper of the Year voting, boasting a 1.26 goals against average. Gruenebaum recorded his first career assist on September 29, sending a long ball to a sprinting Jairo Arrieta to help defeat the Philadelphia Union. The netminder earned the Crew's 2012 Most Valuable Player, Defender of the Year and Breakthrough Performance awards.
2011 (Crew): The Crew goalkeeper made two starts, recording shutouts in each. He also started in seven Reserve matches and the Crew's U.S. Open Cup match against Richmond.
2010 (Crew): Gruenebaum did not appear in a regular season match after missing the first three months of the season with a right hip impingement He started both MLS Playoff matches against Colorado, recording seven saves. He started in all six matches and went 4-2 in the 2010-11 CONCACAF Champions League, recording three shutouts.Gruenebaum started in all four matches in the Crew's run to the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup Final, recording a shutout on July 6 vs. the Charleston Battery.
2009 (Crew): The netminder appeared in 10 matches, all starts. He missed the last six matches of he season due to a right hip impingement. In the U.S. Open Cup, Gruenebaum started Round of 16 match at Rochester.
2008 (Crew): Gruenebaum appeared in and started in one game, a 3-1 loss at New York on October 18. He was a member of the Crew's 2008 MLS Cup championship team, but did not see action in the playoffs. Gruenebaum started in the USOC Qualifier vs. Real Salt Lake on May 27, registering a shutout in the process. He appeared and started in seven games in the MLS Reserve League, finishing with a 2-4-1 record and 1.29 goals-against average.
2007 (Crew): Gruenebaum started all 10 games in which he appeared. Gruenebaum followed up his first career shutout, earned in season-opening 0-0 tie against New York on April 7, with his second career clean sheet against Real Salt Lake on April 14, another scoreless draw. He registered third shutout of season on April 28, a 1-0 win over D.C. United. Gruenebaum went 1-4-5 on season with a 1.50 GAA. He came on as a sub and played the final 56 minutes of the Crew’s USOC qualifier vs. L.A. on April 24 and did not surrender a goal. Gruenebaum started all five games in which he appeared, finishing with a 2-1-2 record, posting a 1.40 GAA and one shutout in the MLS Reserve League.
2006 (Crew): As a rookie, Gruenebaum appeared in three matches overall and started the final two games of the season, going 1-1-0. The University of Kentucky product earned his first career win in his first start on October 7 at Chicago, making five saves in the 4-1 win. He made seven saves in 1-0 loss at N.E. on October 14. Gruenebaum made his MLS debut on May 20 against. D.C. United, coming on as a substitute after Jon Busch tore his right ACL. The rookie played the final five minutes with a broken right hand suffered in practice the day before. Gruenebaum appeared in nine games, eight of them starting assignments in the MLS Reserve League. He went 0-5-1 with one shutout and a 1.87 goals-against average.
At the University of Kentucky, Gruenebaum posted a 0.91 goals-against average and 21 shutouts in 66 career games. Gruenebaum played every minute of every game, going 6-6-6 with a 0.97 goals-against average and six shutouts in the 2005 season. He was named to the Conference USA first team in the Wildcats’ first year in the conference and named to the All-Great Lakes Region team.
Gruenebaum won a USL Premier Development League Championship with the Des Moines Menace in 2005 and was named MVP of the PDL National Championship Game. He helped the Menace advance to the fourth round of the 2005 U.S. Open Cup tournament as an amatuer side. Gruenebaum was named an All-American as a senior at Blue Valley North High School in Kansas, and claimed the NSCAA Kansas Player of the year award in 2000. He was also awarded a spot on the Midwest Region team in 2000.
The son of Mike and Kris Gruenebaum, Andy was married to the former Lacey Sims in January 2010. He has an older brother, Ben, who is an Aerospace Engineer. Gruenebaum is an avid fan of the NHL New Jersey Devils. In his free-time, Andy enjoys movies and owns more than 500 DVDs.