‘09 Crew: The Goalkeepers
The Crew are in good position to have an improving young goalkeeper with big game experience backed up by a solid player with starting experience, and a low salary.
Starting Goalkeeper – William Hesmer Hesmer came to the Crew two years ago as a career backup from Kansas City by way of Toronto. Sigi Schmid used his Wake Forest contacts (his son) to pick up Hesmer (and O’Rourke) for an allocation. Hesmer stepped into the starting lineup in May 2007 has not let go.
He followed up a solid 2007 season with an outstanding 2008 campaign. He was on the shortlist for Goalkeeper of the year with a 1.14 Goals Against Average and 10 shutouts. His outstanding year earned him a call up to the U.S. National Team camp in January.
He is an an outstanding shot stopper who has really worked well with the defense in front of him. He is only 27 years old and he looks to keep improving as he gets more experience.
Backup Goalkeeper – Andy Gruenebaum Gruenebaum is another young ‘keeper with starting experience. Drafted in 2006, Andy saw action in his rookie year and started the 2007 season as the starter for the injured Hesmer. He only got into one game last year, the second to last game of the season against New York. Everything I have seen of him shows he is a step below Hesmer, but is a solid backup for the any call ups or injuries that may force him into the starting lineup.
With Hesmer and Gruenebaum, the Crew have a very solid goalkeeping tandem. Hesmer is in the National Team picture and Gruenebaum is an able backup. Kenny Schoeni, filled the third ‘keeper spot last year, but will probably return to being an MLS pool goalkeeper. This is a strong position on a strong roster.