With the 2011 Major League Soccer season underway and the preseason complete, it is now appropriate to take stock of the roster that has been assembled by head coach Robert Warzycha. This review, like any team, is built from the back – so we start with the goalkeepers.
Here are the goalkeepers who have been associated with the Columbus Crew during the 2011 season. This list includes players who are currently under contract, who have been released or traded, and those who have joined the team temporarily on a trial.
Because of the transitory nature of many trials, this list is most likely not comprehensive. If you spot an omission, please email Matt at firstname.lastname@example.org
* indicates players who are currently under contract
Burse was a goalkeeper who joined the Crew on trial during the preseason. A graduate of Ohio State, he played for several years with FC Dallas before being released. Due to injuries, he was signed to a short-term professional contract that allowed him to start both games in the Champions League quarterfinals. His contract was not renewed after the series, and his spot on the depth chart has been taken by Alex Riggs.
* Andy Gruenebaum, #30
Gruenebaum is a veteran goalkeeper who has been with the Crew since 2006. He saw significant action at the start of 2007 before returning to the bench with the arrival of William Hesmer. He played every minute of the Crew’s Open Cup and Champions League campaigns in 2010, and assumed the starting role in the playoffs after Hesmer injured his shoulder in the last game of the regular season.
* William Hesmer, #1
Hesmer has been the Crew’s first-choice goalkeeper, when healthy, since 2007; he joined the team in a trade with Toronto FC. He was the starting goalkeeper during the Crew’s memorable run to the MLS Cup title in 2008, but injured his shoulder in the last game of the 2010 season and had to miss the playoffs.
Patterson-Sewell was one of a trio of triallist goalkeepers to see time during the preseason, and the first to depart. He started the first game in Arizona, played the second half in the next game against Vancouver, and was released shortly afterward.
* Alex Riggs, #25
Riggs is a rookie goalkeeper who joined the team during the 2011 preseason. He won the third spot on the Crew’s depth chart by beating out Ray Burse, but is not expected to see significant time barring injury or a drop in form by William Hesmer and Andy Gruenebaum.
Follow the author on Twitter at @bernhardtsoccer, Facebook, or MassiveReport.com for even more coverage of the Columbus Crew.