Sporting Kansas City made a move to attempt to fill their hole at goalkeeper today trading with the Columbus Crew to bring in Kansas City native, Andy Gruenebaum. In return KC sends a second round pick in the 2016 Superdraft to Columbus.
A move of some kind was inevitable for Gruenebaum, as the Crew today announced they'd traded for Steve Clark from Seattle. That gave the Crew five goalkeepers on their roster, including the out of contract Gruenebaum.
Gruenebaum made 70 league appearances for the Crew over his eight year career, the last two years he'd been the Crew's starting goalkeeper after Will Hesmer went down injured. His time this year though was cut short due to shoulder injuries. While he was injured, Matt Lampson took over and did well in net. With Gruenebaum out of contract he became expendable. That said, KC getting a starter quality keeper, even if he's out of contract, for a second round pick years down the road is a nice piece of business for Sporting.
Gruenebaum will come in and compete with Eric Kronberg and Jon Kempin for the starting spot in 2014. While Gruenebaum has to be considered the favorite to win the spot, you have to like the idea of the competition. Force someone to prove that they are the better keeper. If Gruenebaum can't prove it, then KC will go into the season with Kronberg, Kempin, or whoever confident after winning the battle. In the end, whoever wins the competition, I expect one of Gruenebaum and Kronberg to not be in KC next year. I can't see both keepers staying in KC if they lose the starting spot. And I think it's time for Kempin to start to develop as the backup.