COLUMBUS — Columbus Crew SC today announced that the club has acquired midfielder Mike Grella in a trade with the Colorado Rapids, who selected Grella in Stage 1 of Major League Soccer’s 2017 Re-Entry Draft, held today via conference call. In exchange, Crew SC sent the Rapids a Second Round selection in the 2019 MLS SuperDraft. Grella has been added to the Black & Gold roster. Grella is a nine-year veteran who most recently played for the New York Red Bulls, where he made 73 regular-season appearances (61 starts) while registering 16 goals and 13 assists.
“Mike is an intelligent and technically gifted player whose profile fits our game model well. His determination and strong work ethic will put him in an excellent position to return to top form,” said Sporting Director and Head Coach Gregg Berhalter. “We believe that at his best, Mike Grella is an outstanding player in Major League Soccer.”
Grella spent three years with the New York Red Bulls from 2015-2017, signing with the club ahead of the 2015 MLS season. In just his first season with the club, he set a record for fastest goal in MLS history, as he scored the opening goal in a 4-1 win against the Philadelphia Union on October 18, 2015. During his time with the Red Bulls, Grella helped the club to two first-place finishes in the Eastern Conference during the regular season (2015, 2016), which included winning the 2015 Supporters’ Shield.
In addition to his 73 appearances (61 starts) in regular-season action, Grella also made six appearances (five starts) in the MLS Cup Playoffs and four appearances (two starts) in the CONCACAF Champions League while with the New York Red Bulls.
Prior to his time in MLS, 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.
The MLS offseason continues with the MLS Re-Entry Draft Stage 2, which takes place on Thursday, December 21 at 2:00 p.m. ET.
Columbus Crew SC acquires midfielder Mike Grella 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, held today via conference call. In exchange, Crew SC sent the Rapids a Second Round selection in the 2019 MLS SuperDraft. Grella has been added to the Black & Gold roster.