2018 (Columbus): Mike Grella has made nine appearances (four starts as a left midfielder) for Crew SC this season, scoring one goal. He missed Crew SC’s matches against Toronto FC (March 3) through D.C. United (April 14) after being listed as out with a left knee injury. Then, Grella missed a home match against the New England Revolution (April 21) after being listed as questionable with a left knee injury. He made his Crew SC regular-season debut in a home match against the San Jose Earthquakes (April 28), coming in as a substitute for Niko Hansen in the 65th minute, and he scored the game-winning goal in the 84th minute. Grella subbed in for Luis Argudo in the 81st minute of a home match against the Philadelphia Union (May 9). Grella started his first game of the season for Crew SC in a home match against the Chicago Fire (May 12) and he returned to the starting lineup in a road match against Sporting Kansas City (May 27). He started in a home match against the New York Red Bulls (June 9). Grella started in an international friendly at home against Costa Rican side Deportivo Saprissa (July 3), and he made a substitute appearance in road matches against the LA Galaxy (July 7) and New York City FC (July 14). In a substitute appearance in a home match against Orlando City SC (July 21), Grella provided the game-winning assist on Wil Trapp’s goal in the second minute of second half stoppage time. He returned to the starting lineup in a home match against the Houston Dynamo (August 11).
2017 (New York): Grella made eight regular-season appearances (three starts). Grella underwent knee surgery as a result of an injury, which caused him to miss large portions of the 2017 season. He made his season debut as a substitute in a 2-1 road victory over Atlanta United (March 5). Grella made two appearances in the CONCACAF Champions League. He made one appearance (one start) in the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup, starting in a 1-0 win over New York City FC (June 15).
2016 (New York): In 2016, made 31 regular-season appearances (27 starts), registering seven goals and six assists. He made his season debut in a start against Toronto in season opener on March 6. Grella scored his first goal of season in a 4-3 win over Houston (March 19). He recorded goal and assist in a win over Orlando (April 24). He made two appearances (one start) in the MLS Cup Playoffs (one start) and two appearances (both starts) in the CONCACAF Champions League. Grella made two appearances (one start) in the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup, scoring in a road contest against the Philadelphia Union (June 29).
2015 (New York): Grella made 33 regular-season appearances (30 starts), scoring nine goals and providing seven assists en route to becoming a finalist for MLS Newcomer of the Year. He made his MLS debut as a starter on Opening Day at Sporting Kansas City (March 8). Grella scored his first career MLS goal, a game-winner, in a 2-1 win over Crew SC (March 28). He scored a goal in a 2-0 win over San Jose (April 17). Grella registered his first assist by providing the helper on Sacha Kljestan’s goal at New England on May 2. On October 18, Grella recorded a brace in a 4-1 over the Philadelphia Union, including the fastest goal in MLS history (seven seconds).
2009-14: Grella was with Leeds United of England from 2009-2011, making 40 appearances and scoring five goals for the club. While at Leeds United, Grella was sent on loan to English sides Carlisle United (2010) and Swindon Town (2011). After leaving Leeds in 2011, he spent time with Brentford FC and Bury FC of the Football League Championship before joining Scunthorpe United FC in England’s Football League One. In 2013, Grella joined Danish side Viborg FF of Denmark’s topflight. Following his time with Viborg FF, Grella joined North Carolina FC of the North American Soccer League in 2014.
Grella was called up to U.S. Youth National Team camps with both the U-18s and U-20s.
Grella was a standout at Duke University from 2005-08 and was selected in the third round of the 2009 MLS SuperDraft by Toronto FC, but decided to pursue opportunities in Europe. He played briefly with USL Premier Development League side Long Island Rough Riders during the collegiate offseason in 2007-08 before switching to play for North Carolina FC’s Under-23 squad.
Acquired by Crew SC on December 15, 2017 in a trade with the Colorado Rapids, who selected Grella in Stage One of Major League Soccer’s 2017 Re-Entry Draft.
Name: Mike Grella
Born: January 23, 1987 in Glen Cove, New York
Hometown: Glen Cove, New York
Citizenship: United States
Acquired: Selected in the 2017 MLS Re-Entry Draft Stage One on Friday, December 15, 2017.
Previous Experience: New York Red Bulls (2015-2017), North Carolina FC (2014), Viborg FF (2013), Scunthorpe United FC (2012-2013), Bury FC (2012), Brentford FC (2011-2012), Leeds United (2009-2011)
Grella is the son of Michele and Grazia and he has a younger brother named Frankie. He and his wife Jessica have three children. Grella loves fresh mozzarella cheese. Although he does not have a favorite vacation spot, he has been to Mexico several times. Grella loves watching all sports and plays golf in his free time. He is a lifelong Juventus fan and growing up he looked up to Alessandro Del Piero. His favorite movie is the Shawshank Redemption. Grella likes listening to all kinds of music, but he really enjoys Billy Joel. While he does not play video games often, when he does he usually plays the FIFA or Battlefieldfranchises. Grella enjoys reading non-fiction books, particularly business ones.