Andy Gruenebaum
USA Today Sports

Gruenebaum thanks fans after eight years with the Black & Gold

I have been blessed over the last eight seasons of my career to play in front of one of the most passionate fan bases in all of MLS. It has truly been a pleasure being an active part of a community that supports you both on and off the field, and the fans in Columbus are what make playing there so special.

When you live somewhere for eight years, it becomes home, and from those eight years I will carry with me so many positive memories. From winning an MLS Cup, life-long friendships and all of the behind-the-scenes personnel that worked tirelessly to make our lives better, I will miss the city of Columbus and representing all of those people on and off the field.

My wife and I are genuinely sad to leave Columbus because we became so attached to not only the fan base and organization, but also the lifestyle that the city offered.  Not being able to walk around Easton or have a night out downtown will be difficult, but I know that the memories we have of the city, teammates and fans will always be in our hearts.

Although I circled the games we had scheduled in KC every year, and have always admired the incredible atmosphere of that stadium, I have never witnessed anything quite like the electric environment I experience while attending MLS Cup 2013. I caught myself just looking around the stadium, and it seemed like the fans wanted that championship more than the players. When the opportunity arose to play in front of my family and friends – and in that atmosphere – I could not pass it up. My wife and I have always talked about moving back home in the distant future, but this might be the only time in my career to have this opportunity.

I always wanted to end my career as a member of the Crew. However, everything happens for a reason, and I can only thank all of those individuals associated with the Crew who always believed in my ability, and gave me a chance to earn each memory over the last eight years.  

- Andy Gruenebaum

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