Former UK Soccer Standout Andy Gruenebaum Wins MLS Cup with Crew

Nov. 23, 2008

CARSON, Calif. - Former standout Kentucky soccer goalkeeper Andy Gruenebaum helped the Columbus Crew to its first MLS title in club history on Sunday with a 3-1 victory over the New York Red Bulls in the MLS Cup, at the Home Depot Center.

Gruenebaum, a UK letterwinner from 2002-05, has served as the back-up goalkeeper for the Columbus Crew throughout the 2008 season, with Wake Forest graduate Will Hesmer functioning as the starting keeper. Gruenebaum, a 6-foot-1, 200-pounder, notched one start during the Crew's championship season, posting two saves in a loss.

A native of Overland Park, Kan., Gruenebaum has appeared in 14 games with 13 starts during his three-year MLS career, posting a 1.53 goals-against average in 1175 minutes, with three shutouts and 49 saves. As the first keeper selected in the 2005 MLS Draft with the third-overall pick, Gruenebaum opened his career with a bang, posting a miniscule 0.97 goals-against average in his first three starts. He finished his 2007 campaign with a 1.50 goals-against average in 10 starts.

While at Kentucky, Gruenebaum re-wrote the UK goalkeeping record book, shattering the career record for saves and tying the mark for shutouts. He is the only player in school history to post back-to-back goals against averages below 1.00, doing so an incredible three straight years while earning first-team all-conference honors each season, in addition to preseason All-American accolades.

Columbus scored the only goal of the first half, as Alejandro Moreno scored in the 31st minute, sneaking the ball inside the left post.

After the Red Bulls evened up the match in the 51st minute, Columbus' Chad Marshall answered with the Crew's second goal in the 53rd minute, latter adding to its lead on Frankie Hejduk's goal in the 82nd minute.

When drafted in 2005, Gruenebaum became the first former UK player selected in the MLS Draft.