Sporting Kansas City: Eric Kronberg Out For 2 Months


Sporting Kansas City has announced that goalkeeper Eric Kronberg broke his finger during training on Wednesday.

According to Sam McDowell this will keep Kronberg out for the next 2 months.

Sporting has already made the move to call up Jon Kempin from USL PRO affiliate OKC Energy.  Kempin is a home grown player from Leawood, KS.  He is a home grown player coming up through the Sporting Kansas City Juniors academy.  He was signed in 2010 and had played mostly in Reserve League games until being loaned to Orlando City SC last year.

This season Kempin was loaned out to the OKC Energy, where he was coached by former SKC keeper Jimmy Nielson.  So far he has started 13 matches there with 7-5-1 record.  He has gotten 5 shutouts with 37 saves and an average goal against of 1.38.  At 21 years old he is an up and coming player.  He has played on both the under 21 and under 23 Men’s National Teams.

I anticipate that he will still be a backup to Andy Gruenebaum on Saturday against the Montreal Impact.  Gruenebaum is 31 and has been playing in the MLS since 2006.  Prior to this year he had spent all of his time with the Columbus Crew.

The Overland Park, KS native spent most of his time as a backup until 2012 when he became the starter for 33 games.  Overall he played in 80 games for the Crew, going 26-31-21 with 18 shutouts and 270 saves, while giving up 185 goals.

He has played in 2 games, during the US Open Cup, for Sporting KC this season.  In the first game he shutout Minnesota United FC helping Sporting on to a 2-0 victory.  Minnesota ended up only having 3 shots on goal and were down a player early on in the second half.

The second game against the Portland Timbers turned into a disaster for Gruenebaum.  Out of 6 shots on goal, 2 were allowed in and a 3rd goal was scored on a penalty kick.  Sporting was knocked out of the tournament with a 3-1 loss.  To be fair, this was during the time that Matt Besler and Graham Zusi were gone, playing for the Men’s National Team in the World Cup.

Watching the Timbers game I could not help but feel unimpressed by Gruenbaum.  The 2 goals were on balls that I think he severely misplayed allowing good shooting lanes through the defense.  On the penalty kick he actually guessed the correct direction and was laid out perfectly, except he couldn’t get a hand low enough so the ball scooted underneath his bottom hand completely missing him altogether.

I have felt since then that if Kronberg was out for any significant period of time that this team could be in trouble.  With both Matt Besler and Aurelien Collin back in the starting lineup for the first time since May 14th hopefully they can help to mitigate the damage.  Let’s hope for a speedy recovery for Eric Kronberg.