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2020 Sacramento Republic player postmortem: Adam Grinwis

Starting goalkeeper dealt bitter blow midway through season.

Courtesy of Republic FC.

Adam Grinwis joined Sacramento Republic FC in 2020 as the new starting goalkeeper. After Josh Cohen’s departure midway through the 2019 season, there was a need to find a new starter, and enter the Michigan native, who signed as a 27-year-old, had tons of experience in the USL Championship, and had played a handful of games at MLS level for Orlando City the past two years.

Grinwis was the No. 1 from opening day and looked pretty strong, and then it all came to a halt, after he suffered a major knee injury in late July, just three games after the season restart. The injury kept him out the rest of the season, with Rafael Diaz stepping up in the breach and taking a star turn.

Here are Grinwis’ stats with Sac Republic in 2020:

Adam Grinwis 2020 Statistics

2020 Games Played Games Started Minutes Saves Goals Allowed GAA Shutouts Win % Save % Yellow Cards Red Cards
2020 Games Played Games Started Minutes Saves Goals Allowed GAA Shutouts Win % Save % Yellow Cards Red Cards
Regular Season 4 4 360 8 5 1.25 1 25 61.5 0 0
Playoffs 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Total 4 4 360 8 5 1.25 1 25 61.5 0 0

Grinwis’ numbers are pretty good. Aside from the 3-3 draw against Tacoma Defiance to restart the season, he allowed one goal or less in his other three appearances and the team got off to a 1W-1L-2D start, which is good. Obviously it’s a small sample size but Grinwis demonstrated he had the chops to be a starting goalkeeper.

But with Diaz emerging as a bonafide starter for the first time since joining Sacramento, the writing appeared to be on the wall for Grinwis. While Mark Briggs said Grinwis and Diaz competed for a starting spot in preseason, and I have no doubt about that, I think the club going out to sign Grinwis before the season was a sign that he likely had the edge to start and so it turned out to be. But Diaz really surpassed expectations when he took over after Grinwis’ injury, and instead of wondering when Grinwis and Sac Republic’s defense would fully click and find a groove, Diaz just did it pretty much instantly and he won the No. 1 spot for the rest of 2020 and beyond.

That means Grinwis is out of contract with Sac Republic and the club made it definitive, saying in their end-of-season moves release that he won’t be back. That’s rough and I hope he continues to get health coverage and resources to properly rehab from his ACL injury, because getting cut loose in the middle of recovery is a bigger blow than it is for healthy players. At the same time, Grinwis has been successful at USL Championship level, perhaps he already has his next move lined up, and if not, hopefully he can find a new club soon, because I think it’s rotten luck, really.

So it looked like Adam Grinwis could become a steady, stable starting goalkeeper for Sac Republic, and ultimately he helped deliver that situation to them — just not with him in that role. He did a job while healthy but got Wally Pipp’d in the end, and now it’s on to the next stop for him. Best of luck in the future to him.

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