Orlando City signed goalkeeper Adam Grinwis on Jan. 5, 2018. The former Saint Louis FC player was brought in to compete for the backup spot against Earl Edwards Jr. By the end of 2018, Grinwis had started the last four matches of the season, and five of the last six. Prior to Brian Rowe being brought in, it was assumed that Grinwis would compete for the starting position in 2019. With nicknames like “Grinny” and “The Grinch,” he had become a fan favorite, but one that wouldn’t play one minute of the MLS regular season.
Grinwis made no appearances during the 2019 MLS season, but did get all four Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup starts for Orlando City. Two of those matches went to extra time, giving Grinwis a total of 420 minutes played. He made 13 saves over the four matches and allowed five goals, posting a record of 2-1-1 (advancing on spot kicks against New York City FC). The opposition took 63 shots, with 17 on target, plus six spot kicks against NYCFC. He saved 76% of the shots on target, had two punches, one cross caught, and earned one foul.
Statistically speaking, Grinwis made more saves in the match against Atlanta United FC than he did against NYCFC. Of course, he also gave up an additional goal against Atlanta. Also statistically speaking, he had the same number of saves and goals allowed against Memphis 901 FC, and added a punch, a cross caught, and earned a foul. Regardless, his best game was against NYCFC.
Grinwis was the hero of the week with his penalty kick saves against Alexander Ring and Maxime Chanot to advance Orlando City to the semifinals — the furthest the team had ever been in the competition. It was the game that gave us the Running of the Wall, and his save in that match (3:15 mark in the video) will certainly be in contention for greatest moment of the 2019 campaign.
2019 Final Grade
Grinwis didn’t make the minutes threshold for a final grade due to not appearing in the regular season. As such, Grinwis earned an incomplete grade for the season. That is not to say he didn’t do well when called upon as James O’Connor’s pick for all the U.S. Open Cup matches.
Grinwis is one of three backup keepers on the roster. He is also an inexpensive backup with big game experience. Barring massive changes from Orlando City’s next coach, I expect that Grinwis will return. Depending on what happens with the other keepers on the roster and any additions made, he could stay in his backup role or potentially be loaned out.