The offseason picked up more steam as the Crew signed goalkeeper Steve Clark, 27, in a sign and trade with the Seattle Sounders. The Black and Gold gave up a 2015 Fourth Round SuperDraft pick to acquire Clark. The Crew then announced that Andy Gruenebaum has been traded to Sporting Kansas City for a 2016 Second Round SuperDraft pick.
Clark comes back to the United States after four seasons in Norway, playing for Honefoss BK. Clark was the a best XI pick for the Tippeligaen during the 2012 season. Honefoss BK was relegated at the end of the 2013 season. Clark has four years of starting experience and will compete for a starting spot immediately.
The Crew also announced that it traded out of contract goalkeeper Gruenebaum to the reigning MLS Cup champion Sporting Kansas City. Gruenebaum originally came to the Crew in 2006 but didn't emerge as a full time starter until 2012 with William Hesmer's season ending injury. Gruenebaum had 26 wins and 18 shutouts during his stay in Columbus. Gruenbaum now returns to his hometown and will immediately compete for a starting job after Jimmy Nielsen's retirement after the season.
The surprise starter in 2012, Gruenebaum put in near MLS best XI numbers and was fifth in MLS goalkeeper of the year voting as he started 33 games. He backslid in 2013 as he dealt with injury issues that limited him to 21 games and 4 shutouts.
Injury and salary concerns may have led to Gregg Berhalter's decision to trade Gruenebaum while the addition of Clark gives the Crew a veteran starting goalkeeper who is three years younger than Gruenebaum. Matt Lampson remains the understudy.